Russia chides West for Syria in talks with OIC
‘This is the continuation of a vicious circle of violence,’ Lavrov (R) says, referring to support to rebels, during a meet with OIC chief İhsanoğlu in Moscow. REUTERS photoRussia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, criticized June 7 the backers of the Syrian rebels, claiming that further support for Syria’s armed opposition from the likes of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) would put the war down the road to nowhere.
“This is the road to nowhere, this is the continuation of a vicious circle of violence,” Lavrov said, referring to support to rebels, during a meet with OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu in Moscow. There are thousands of foreign men fighting with the rebels against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, Lavrov said.
“All of us should realize whether we want to support the political process, and then we should make everybody sit at the negotiating table; [otherwise], we want regime change,” he said. Russia expressed concern over the statements made by U.S. officials for continued support to Syria’s rebel.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said last month that if al-Assad was not prepared to discuss a political solution to end Syria’s civil war, it would prompt the United States and other countries to consider increasing their support to the Syrian opposition.
“Distorting the facts [of what happened] in Qusayr is unacceptable,” he said, referring to “hypocritical” statements by the United States in the wake of the Syrian military’s recapture of the strategic central town. Washington had condemned the Syrian government’s assault on city, which had been in rebel hands, accusing Damascus of depending on Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah.
For his part, the İhsanoğlu said the situation in Syria was becoming more difficult, and negatively affected its neighboring countries. “The battles are starting to take on a sectarian nature.”
However, he said the OIC fully supported a Geneva conference proposed by Moscow and Washington to effect a transition government in Syria. “The conference must help in stopping the violence in the country and guarantee a transition of power,” said İhsanoğlu. The widely anticipated international peace conference is likely to take place later this month.