News / Middle East

Lavrov Meets With UN Arab League Envoy

U.N.-Arab League peace mediator Lakhdar Brahimi (L) of Algeria and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a joint news conference in Moscow, December 29, 2012.
U.N.-Arab League peace mediator Lakhdar Brahimi (L) of Algeria and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a joint news conference in Moscow, December 29, 2012.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there is still time to end the violence in Syria if the opposition agrees to talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. United Nations Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who has traveled to Russia, said if that does not happen and a deal is not struck, "hell" and more bloodshed will occur.

In talks in Moscow with Brahimi, Lavrov said that the chance for a political solution remains and that it is Russia’s obligation to encourage dialogue with both Assad’s regime and the opposition.

Lavrov said this is essential because Assad is not going anywhere. He noted that Assad has repeatedly stated he is not going to leave, that he will remain in office until the very end and that he will defend the Syrian people and his country’s sovereignty. Lavrov went on to say there is no way to change Assad’s position.

On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told the RIA Novosti news agency that Moscow sent an invitation for talks to the Syrian National Council, the main exiled opposition group recognized by many as the legitimate government of Syria. This came after a spokesman for the Syrian coalition said the group would accept any solution that excludes Assad and his aides.

Opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib said in an interview Friday on al-Jazeera TV, that he had ruled out a trip to Russia and wanted an apology from Moscow for its support of Assad. Moscow has consistently maintained it does not support Assad, merely the Syrian people.

Brahimi said the situation is tenuous.

"The only alternative is really hell or political process. Then we have got all of us to work ceaselessly for political process," he said. "It is difficult, it is very complicated, but there is no other choice, except that route if we really want to be a responsible international community and want to help the Syrians also be a little bit more responsible towards their country and people."

Earlier in the week, Brahimi had called for an interim government to be established in Syria until elections could be held.

Moscow has refused to back three rounds of sanctions against its Middle Eastern ally. Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly has said it is not the United Nations Security Council’s job to oust a government.

More than 40,000 people have died in Syria’s 21-month civil war.

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Comment Sorting
by: A Serious Advice from: The USA
December 31, 2012 5:51 AM
To Putin, the Blood of all Innocent Syrians, as well as all Painful People in Wicked Dictatorial Regimes in the world = WATER.
Because of his Cruelty, all Russians being in Syria can get dangerous suddenly anytime.
Seriously, Putin must take full responsibility for their Destinies.
As a result, one of the Best Keys for this Very Vital Question is that, Putin should unite with The Whole World quickly and strongly, in order to FORCE Assad to GIVE UP POWER as soon as possible.

by: PROPHECY 4 from: USA
December 31, 2012 4:25 AM
“Assad’s Military Forces = ROTTEN WOOD.

by: Observer from: Canada
December 30, 2012 9:24 PM
40,000 die and 200.000 refugee under Russian's eyes still are minority not enough evident to say Assad no longer accepted a legitimacy government of Syria. The truth is If Assad gone Russia has every thing to lose and secondly not less importance Russia still saying the war in Syria was initiate by the West and want to support Assad to win the war mean to show the West that Russia is not weak.

by: Anonymous
December 29, 2012 5:24 PM
Asking the Syrian people to negotiate with Bashar Al-Assad (Proven track record of a terrorist terrorizing the nation) is an entire insult to the Syrian Nation. Syrian people do not buckle to terrorizers, and they simply can't even try to negotiate with them. Like Really Mr Lavrov, do you think the Syrian people are stupid? WHO WOULD want to negotiate anything with Bashar AL Assad? I think Russia assumes this may smooth things over trying a "peacefull approach" but Assad has been terrorizing the nation as a whole. Lavrov all this does is insult the Syrian people. Lavrov is trying to make it like "Come on lets negotiate, Bashar isn't that bad of a guy..." but yes he is, come on now. The war has already begun and the Syrian people have everything to lose if they don't fight. Lavrov & Putin just don't realise they've tarnished themselves in the worst way to the Syrian people. Why would any Syrian even want to deal with Russia either after all of this?

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