Medvedev: Assad must reform or go

2011-10-07 17:05

Moscow - President Dmitry Medvedev told Syria's strongman leader Bashar al-Assad on Friday to either reform or resign while warning that Russia would resist outside attempts to force him from power.

Medvedev said three days after Russia and China sparked global outrage by jointly vetoing a US resolution on Syria that he wanted to see an end to the violent crackdown on protesters as much as Europe and the US.

"Russia wants as much as the other countries for Syria to end the bloodshed and demands that the Syrian leadership conduct the necessary reforms," Medvedev said in televised remarks.

"If the Syrian leadership is unable to undertake these reforms, it will have to go. But this is something that has to be decided not by Nato or individual European countries but by the people and the leadership of Syria," he said.

Russia vetoed the UN Security Council sanctions resolution against its Soviet-era ally on Tuesday after arguing that moves aimed against the Syrian leadership could encourage protesters to resort to violence.

Medvedev said his most recent decision on Syria was also influenced by the Nato-led campaign in Libya that Russia opposed but refused to block at the Security Council in March.

Russia had criticised the Libya campaign as illegitimate and Medvedev warned on Friday that he would continue resisting all actions he thought were aimed at toppling governments that were on bad terms with the West.

"Russia will continue standing against attempts to legitimise through the UN Security Council unilateral sanctions aimed at toppling various regimes," he said.

  • Matt :-) - 2011-10-07 16:07

    Strong words from Putin's lap-dog.

  • JohnPicarra - 2011-10-07 16:34

    Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is in SA. Turkey has INVADED Cyprus. We demand Turkey OUT of Cyprus! Turkey has INVADED Greece. We demand Turkey OUT of Greece! Turkey has GENOCIDED Christian Armenians. We demand that Turkey APOLOGISE and COMPENSATE Armenians! Turkey INVADED Kurdistan. We demand Turkey OUT of Kurdistan! Turkey is an Invader, Occupier, Oppressor, Exploiter and Genocider! I have just learned that Standard Bank owns 67% of Standard Unlu in Turkey. I have decided to close my account with Standard of 32 years in protest of the Invasions, Occupations and Genocides of Turkey. I am a Member of the African Christian Democratic Party

      slg - 2011-10-07 17:01

      What does this have to do with Syria?

      beicime - 2011-10-07 17:01

      Well said but... Many if not most countries and probably yours has also invade or colonized other countries. If you close your relationships with those dealing with countries you disagree with then it must include trade and you might even be unable to buy food to survive.

      Anton - 2011-10-07 17:38

      JohnPicarra, Might all be true what you say, but again , the way the Turkey's government is handling the crisis in Syria, is admirable. Makes one wish, that SA would have had this same attitude towards Zimbabwe, it would have saved the misery of millions. ps, And don't close your account at Standard, you don't want to know where the other banks put their money!!!

  • Anton - 2011-10-07 16:34

    Time and time again, Russia shows such a weak foreign policy. Where as Syria's neighbour, Turkey, it is the opposite; "But we must carry on with our friendship, based on principles, and if those principles are trumped upon, or left aside, we leave this friendship aside" Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan Pretoria 5 October 2011

  • beicime - 2011-10-07 16:57

    Syria's bragging of the UN veto was presented to the Syrian people is a distorted way but that is what dictatorships do all the time.

  • slg - 2011-10-07 16:59

    The Arab League must take the lead again. If it requests intervention, and Russia and China continue with their disingenuous decisions, the freer world should bypass the Security Council and help the Syrian people who are being tortured and butchered by the cruel technocrat Bashar Asad and his brutal regime.

      Libertador - 2011-10-08 08:46

      Who is the Arab League, that bastion of democracy? No ducking and diving please.

      slg - 2011-10-08 15:23

      It's easy to Google. It now has Egypt, Tunisia and Libya as democratizing members, representing 100 million people of the Middle East. More coming too. The Arab Spring is finally happening, whether or not you like it.

      KomissarDzerzhinsky - 2011-10-08 21:37

      Comrade Che brought democracy to Worker's Republic of Cuba by bullet to the forehead. We wanted him to be more subtle but he insisted on having it his way.

  • Marc - 2011-10-07 17:02

    I think Medvedev is on the right track. If the people of Syria want an end to totalitariansim, they must deal with it. Its no no business of NATO or the west to inferfere in the internal issues of sovereign states. I'm sure Assad is a mean old sod and his citizens have a right to rise up. So let them rise up. The only time that this world is a "global village" is when it suits us and most of the time it suits the US more than it suits it's pandering allies. Russia is neither a warmonger (the days of Kruschev are long over) but neither are they grinning sycophants.

      slg - 2011-10-07 17:09

      They don't stand a chance. Asad and his cronies have control of state resources, inuding the military. Russia has one foot in it's recent centralized Communist past. It's not a bellwether for human rights and freedom of the individual.

  • KomissarDzerzhinsky - 2011-10-07 17:09

    Comrade Dmitry Anatolyevich is correct. Premier Assad must decide to renew contracts with Russian Federation or go.

      slg - 2011-10-07 17:35

      The world will not stand by while you and your comrade put selfish commercial interests before basic human rights. You failed miserably at Communism and you're going to fail again now.

      KomissarDzerzhinsky - 2011-10-08 21:16

      Why my dear snowflake we did not fail at it. We lived it up according to its principles. I must say the hookers, the US dollars on black market deals, dacha in the country and apartment near Kutuzov Prospect were worth it. But such times may soon return.

      slg - 2011-10-09 00:55

      Well, at least you're honest about your self-centredness. :) But you don't stand a chance. You're on the wrong side again.

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