Russia: New Syria resolution ready

2011-10-10 15:41
Moscow - Moscow and Beijing are ready to propose a UN resolution on Syria that is more "balanced" than the West's draft that they controversially vetoed last week, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

Lavrov said in an interview with Profil magazine that the Moscow-drafted version would condemn violence carried out both by the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the rebel opposition.

His comments came as the Kremlin's Africa envoy Mikhail Margelov and Qadri Jamil, a communist and member of the so-called "internal opposition" in Syria, urged all conflicting parties to sit down for talks.

Russia and China last week infuriated the West by blocking a UN resolution against Assad's deadly crackdown on protests, even after the West dropped the word "sanctions" from a draft to temper Russian opposition.

Full-scale arms embargo fear

"We propose to adopt a balanced resolution that would condemn violence from both sides," Lavrov told Profil magazine in comments released on Monday.

"At the same time we need to demand from Assad a continuation of reforms which he has already embarked upon."

"Apart from that, we need to encourage the Syrian opposition to come to the negotiating table and try to reach an agreement. Together with our Chinese partners we are ready to offer such a resolution," Lavrov said.

The foreign minister expressed concern that the West-drafted resolution would open the way for a full-scale arms embargo against Russia's traditional ally in the Middle East.

"We remember how an embargo was implemented in relation to Libya," he said. "We are also well aware of our partners' ability to arm one of the sides in the conflict despite an embargo," he said wryly.

He accused the West of seeking to discourage the opposition from holding talks with Assad.

The interview was released as Margelov, head of the upper house of parliament's foreign affairs committee, hosted for talks a Syrian delegation led by Jamil, a member of the so-called "internal opposition" seen as advocating dialogue with Assad.

"The Russian veto is a last call for the authorities and the opposition to come to the negotiating table and start national dialogue," the state RIA Novosti news agency quoted Margelov as saying.

"The Russian veto against the Syria resolution is by no means carte blanche for the current regime in Syria to behave as it pleases, it is not an indulgence for either the regime or the opposition."

Time running out for dialogue

Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that Assad should either reform or go but warned that Moscow would continue blocking any attempts by the West to oust him from power.

Speaking ahead of his planned talks with Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Tuesday,
Jamil said his delegation travelled to Moscow to express gratitude for vetoing the West-sponsored draft.

"It is a good example of how you can prevent the interference of foreign countries in Syria's domestic affairs," he told AFP after talks with Margelov.

Critics see Jamil as too close to Assad. He denies this, saying he represents the "patriotic" opposition as opposed to those based outside Syria and siding with the West.

He said time was running out for dialogue, noting talks between the regime and the opposition should also include a loose-knit people's movement including the so-called "the internal opposition".

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed it would host Jamil for talks on Tuesday.

In March, Russia abstained from the UN Security Council resolution on Libya that essentially authorised military action, later accusing the West of abusing Moscow's goodwill.
Read more on:    un  |  bashar al-assad  |  russia  |  syria  |  uprisings  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.