Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that his country hasn’t any geopolitical goals in Syria, stressing that what Moscow wants is that the Syrians decide the future of their country by themselves.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday that his country hasn't any geopolitical goals in Syria, stressing that what Moscow wants is that the Syrians decide the future of their country by themselves.
"Russia hasn't any geopolitical targets in Syria, nor it has agents who implement its orders. All what we want is that the Syrians themselves decide the fate of their country through democratic mechanisms," Lavrov said in an interview with the Algerian daily The News.
"We do not interfere in the Syrian conflict and do not divide the Syrians among proponents and opponents, but we strictly condemn all forms of terrorism, extremism and violence against civilians, especially crimes committed out of hatred, sectarian or ethnic lines," he added.
"We do not support the position of those who oppose negotiations, provide pre-conditions and push things towards confrontation without hesitating to shed the Syrian blood in order to overthrow the regime by force," Lavrov went on to say.
The Russian official refused to describe the situation in Syria as being a fact of confrontation between the superpowers, stating that Russia calls for a political solution to the serious crisis through internal dialogue without any foreigner interference or dictation.
"This fully comes in line with the standards and norms of the modern system of international relations based on the United Nations Charter. This is the only way to a long-term solution that responds to the interests of all spectrums of Syrian society," the minister elaborated.
"This logic led to the Russian-American consensus on May 7 in Moscow, on which we are working to organize an international conference on Syria in order to gather the government and the opposition at the negotiation table and launch the political process according to Geneva statement adopted on June 30, 2012," the Russian official added.
"We follow with concern the boost of coordination between the various Al-Qaeda branches and its efforts to undermine all opportunities for progress towards peace in Syria, which inflame sectarian and ethnic tension, especially between Sunnis and Shiites. Extremists are committing heinous crimes, including the terrorist attacks in public places or sectarian cleansing operations along the lines of the massacre committed in the village of Shiite Htalh in Deir Ezzor countryside, where 60 civilians were killed, homes were blown up and clerics were executed by hanging," the minister said.
Lavrov also reiterated Russia's refusal to arm the Syrian opposition by some Western countries:
"Peace cannot be achieved in this way. This will only lead to further suffering of the Syrian people and to a dangerous escalation of the regional situations. It is wrong to talk about a winner or a loser because everyone will lose," he said.
Lavrov stressed that the international conference on Syria, "might be an opportunity to restore normal life to Syria," stating that "the achievement of this duty falls on all potential participants (in the conference) who have to show the bulk of the good will and seek to provide real support to the Syrians."
"We are sure that it is difficult, but not impossible," the Russian minister concluded.