End ultimatums against Syria – Russia

2011-11-29 12:32
Moscow - Russia on Tuesday urged an end to "ultimatums" against its Middle East ally Syria after the approval of Arab League sanctions and a call from Washington and the EU for an immediate end to violence.

"Right now, the most important thing is to stop acting by means of ultimatums and try to move toward political dialogue," Interfax quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying.

His comments came one day after the United States and the European Union issued a joint statement after White House talks for "the Syrian government to end violence immediately".

Lavrov added that Russia's negative experience of Nato's air campaign in Libya made it unlikely that Moscow would back the imposition of an arms embargo against Syria.

"The periodic proposals that we hear on imposing a complete arms embargo on Syria - I would say that they are fairly disingenuous," Lavrov said after meeting his Icelandic counterpart.

"We are going to view another embargo, this one against Syria, based on the experience that we gained from the Libyan example."

Russia backed the impositions of an arms embargo against the strongman regime of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and abstained from a UN resolution that paved the way for military action against his regime.

Moscow then strongly criticised the course of the campaign and was particularly angered by an arms drop to Libyan opposition forces that was confirmed by France.

Russia accused Nato of breaking the spirit of the UN resolution by picking sides in the Libya conflict and openly backing the opposition.

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