Friday, 29 June 2012

Russia Censures US’s Double-Standards: Excluding Iran from Geneva Talks “Mistake

Russia opposes support to any plans for outside interference in Syria which may be voiced at the upcoming international conference in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

Sergei LavrovLavrov said world powers had yet to agree any final resolution based on new proposals from UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan for an international conference on Saturday in Geneva.

“We will not, and would not be able to support any outside interference or imposition of recipes [in Syria],” Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.

Only Syrians can Decide Assad's Fate

Syria needs political transformation, but its nature should be defined by Syrian people only, he added.
UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, reportedly proposed on Wednesday creation of an interim government in the country comprising both opposition members and President Bashar al-Assad loyalists, but not necessarily Assad himself.

Lavrov denied media reports that Russia has agreed to support Annan’s plan, which could be approved at the conference in Geneva on Saturday. The resolution for the conference is still being drafted, he said.

The Foreign Minister also said that he did not expect any NATO members to push for a repetition of a “Libyan scenario” in Syria.

Lavrov agreed that changes and reforms were much needed in Syria, saying: "We support changes which work towards national agreement on all questions of overdue reform".

Not Inviting Iran to Geneva Talks a Mistake

Participants invited by Annan to the conference in Geneva include representatives of five permanent Security Council members – Russia, China, England, France and the United States – as well as Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and the EU, and heads of the UN and Arab League.

Lavrov also criticized the organizers for not inviting Iran, Syria’s longtime ally, to the conference in Geneva and censures the United States for its "double standards" in opposing Tehran's attendance.
“Iran is an influential player in this situation and to leave it out of the Geneva meeting, I believe, is a mistake,” Lavrov said, noting that Washington had agreed in the past to Iran joining talks on Iraq and Afghanistan. “When the Americans needed to decide certain issues involving the security of their contingents in Iraq and Afghanistan, they initiated contact with Iran without wavering and agreed to something,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov, who earlier this week had said he would still go Geneva even if Iran was not invited, confirmed that Russia would still be attending the conference despite Moscow's irritation. “In contrast to some of our partners, we are not capricious people,” Lavrov said. “We will go to the Geneva meeting, irrespective of what the final list of participants is.”
Source: Agencies
28-06-2012 - 17:11 Last updated 28-06-2012 - 17:11

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