News / Middle East

    Russia, France Split on Syria Arms Report

    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, are seen at a news conference in Moscow, September 17, 2013.
    Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, are seen at a news conference in Moscow, September 17, 2013.
    Russia is still saying that Syrian rebels were responsible for a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus on August 21. The news comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Moscow Tuesday to discuss the issue.

    Russia has serious grounds to believe that the attack was a provocation by the opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, Lavrov said. He added that the event must be "impartially, objectively, professionally investigated."

    Lavrov said that there hasn’t been enough evidence presented proving that only the Syrian government could have carried out the attack.

    The comments by Russia’s foreign minister come a day after a United Nations report cited clear and convincing evidence that the nerve agent sarin was used in the attack that the U.S. says killed 1,400 people, 400 of them children.

    Lavrov’s French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, said Tuesday he has no doubts that Syria's government was responsible for the attack.

    Fabius said that if people were to look at the amount of sarin used in the attack, the equipment that was needed and the targets, there is no doubt the Syrian regime is behind the August 21 attack.

    Lavrov had intended to host his French counterpart in order to come to some sort of an agreement on a U.N. resolution for the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons.

    Moscow has refused to support a U.N. resolution backed by the U.S., France and Britain that would call for severe consequences if Damascus refuses to hand over its chemical weapons to the international community for dismantling.

    Meanwhile, the Syrian government says it will adhere to an agreement between Moscow and Washington that it will hand over a full account of its chemical weapons.

    The Kremlin has refused to back several rounds of sanctions against its Middle Eastern ally, maintaining dialogue with both sides is necessary for peace. Moscow also continues to sell arms to Damascus, although Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains none of them can be used in a civil conflict.

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    Comments
         
    by: Igor from: Russia
    September 17, 2013 10:55 PM
    Of course the terrorist rebels was able to launch the chemical attack because many of them used to belong to Syrian Army and a lot of Syrian weapons and ammunitions (including chemical weapons) have been lost to them during the war. Also, the rebels received weapons illegally from some of their sponsors such as France, the USA, The UK, Turkey. No one can be sure that such capable countries did not help the rebels to frame up the chemical attack to blame Syrian government for it. So that they can have a pretext to strike Syria. We should study the motive of each participant to come to a conclusion.

    by: Anonymous
    September 17, 2013 7:54 PM
    Well of COURSE Russia is going to say the rebels did it. The Russians would not want to be partially LIABLE for providing the chemical weapons that assad has. They will fight it til to the end even if red handed.

    by: Anonymous
    September 17, 2013 1:02 PM
    I would put money on the fact bashar al assad was likely set up with his chemicals by the Russians. It is for this reason that Putin is being overly nice to assad, forgiving him for murdering nearly 100,000 civilians. Because Putin probably doesn't want bashar al assad to open his mouth to the west. Putin may be afraid of the secrets bashar al assad knows, and could spell trouble for Putin. Perhaps this is why Putin will do ANYTHING to not prosecute bashar al assad for any crimes whatsoever, no matter how many civilians he murders.

    Putins behaviour is disgusting before the world.

    by: Yoshiyuki Fudemoto from: 1-3-4 Shoujihigashi
    September 17, 2013 8:34 AM
    These few days, I think,a great achievement for the U.S foreign
    policy in the Middle East, the accord with Russia in Geneva,signed
    by Mr.Kerry and the Russian counterpart,Mr.Lavcolf shall a big step
    foward to the peace and stablity for the region,Yoshiyuki Fudemoto,Osaka,Japan

    by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
    September 17, 2013 6:41 AM
    Yes, we all knew that attack happened. Now, can we have the truth about who are all responsible please. No sound bites, no pre judging, but believable truth only. Then let us talk about punishing ALL the culprits, whoever they may be and their supporters. Our leaders could learn the meaning benefit of doubt or innocent until proven guilty, the later drives our way of life in the Western world.
    In Response

    by: atlas from: uk
    September 19, 2013 7:41 AM
    more to the point. Why is u.s.a and Israel not being prosecuted for their crimes. they used prohibited substances here and there against weak nations. starting from Vietnam etc....... one rule for one another rule for another.

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