Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Minister: foreign intervention "impossible" in Syria

Jamil from Moscow: Syria Solution through Dialogue without Pre-Conditions
Local Editor
Syrian Minister, who is on a head of a delegation visiting Russia, stressed that solution for the current crisis in Syria was by going to dialogue, but without pre-conditions.

Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection Qadri Jamil, said that the Syrian delegation discussed with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, the prospects of solving the crisis in Syria in details.

He said that this crisis "has caused spilling of blood and strong pressure on the Syrian economy in a way that reflected negatively on the life and livelihood of the Syrian citizens."
syrian delegation in moscow"Our stance has been clear since the start of the crisis in terms of the necessity of going for dialogue without pre-conditions," stressed Minister Jamil, adding that putting such pre-conditions hinders the process of starting dialogue.

"Those who want to start dialogue should go for it immediately and put forth on the table their ideas and views on solving the crisis and visions for the upcoming renewed Syria," he said, according to SANA.

The Minister pointed out that there are principles for dialogue that must be committed to for getting the dialogue table started.

"These principles have become known and are represented in the rejection of foreign interference and violence in all their forms," said Jamil, reiterating that these two points are not conditions but principles that should be agreed on, "otherwise dialogue will be doomed to failure."

Updated 6:42pm: The Syrian government said on Tuesday foreign military intervention in Syria was "impossible" because it would lead to a conflict beyond the country's borders.

Deputy Syrian Prime Minister Qadri Jamil, speaking at a news conference in Moscow, appeared to be responding to President Barack Obama's threat that US forces could act if Syria deployed chemical weapons against rebels.

"Direct military intervention in Syria is impossible because whoever thinks about heading towards a confrontation wider than Syria's borders," he said.

"Obama's threats are simply propaganda linked to the US elections," Jamil told reporters after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Seeking re-election in November, Obama noted on Monday that he had refrained "at this point" from ordering US military engagement in Syria. But when he was asked at a White House news conference whether he might deploy forces, for example to secure Syrian chemical and biological weapons, he said his view could change.

"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilised," Obama said. "That would change my calculus."

The statement brought a rebuke from Russia, with Lavrov saying that Russia and China agree that violations of international law and the United Nations charter are impermissible.

Both countries have opposed military intervention in Syria throughout 17 months of bloodshed and have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions backed by Western and Gulf Arab states that targeted Damascus.

Russia and China base their diplomatic cooperation on "the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law and the principles contained in the UN Charter, and not to allow their violation," Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying at a meeting with Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo.
"I think this is the only correct path in today's conditions," Lavrov said.

Israel and the US have issued a number of warnings to Syria over its chemical weapons stockpile in recent weeks, raising fears of a possible Israeli military intervention.

But an Israeli official last month told Haaretz newspaper that Assad was "dealing with [the] chemical weapons in a responsible manner."

Assad resignation possible

Jamil also said the government was willing to discuss the issue of Assad resigning in order to form a national government, the most senior figure to consider such a proposal.

"As far as his resignation goes – making the resignation itself a condition for holding dialogue means that you will never be able to reach this dialogue. But any problems can be discussed during negotiations. We are even ready to discuss this issue," he said.

For his part, Lavrov urged Jamil to increase efforts to end the bloodshed.

"From what we see in Syria, it seems that this is not enough," RIA Novosti, Russia's international news agency, quoted Lavrov as telling Syria's Jamil at the start of their talks.

Jamil responded by saying that dialogue was the only path to end the violence.

"Solving the Syrian crisis requires dialogue without preconditions," Jamil said, adding that "there are principles to launch the dialogue, the first of which is rejecting foreign interference and the rejection of violence in all its forms."

Russia has stepped up its calls on the Syrian government to undertake more serious efforts at peace talks.

Lavrov stressed that Russia still firmly believed that only the Syrians themselves could end the fighting and urged Assad's team to energetically pursue its current course.

"We remain convinced that there is no way other than a continuation of this line of action," Lavrov said.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)
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