Russia denies call for Assad to leave

2012-06-28 15:10
AFP

AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - Russia on Thursday said it would not endorse a call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to give up power and criticised as inappropriate US comments that it had agreed to plans for a new national unity government in Syria that could include the opposition.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov insisted that major powers meeting on Saturday in Geneva for talks on Syria must concentrate on convincing opposition groups to soften their demands.

He also denied a claim by a senior US official that Russia was among the backers of a plan for a new government to oversee the drafting of a new constitution and eventual elections.

"We are not supporting and will not support any external meddling," he said. "External players must not dictate ... to Syrians, but, first of all, must commit to influencing all the sides in Syria to stop the violence."

Diplomatic hopes have rested on Russia — Syria's most important ally, protector and supplier of arms — to agree to a plan that would end the Assad family dynasty, which has ruled Syria for more than four decades.

But the country — one of the five permanent Security Council members along with Britain, China, France and the US — has warned it would firmly oppose any document urging Assad to step down.

Annan assurances

Moscow also has rejected efforts by outside forces to end the country's bloody conflict or any plan to force regime change in Damascus, insisting that any plans for the future rest entirely with Syria.

It was not clear, however, that Moscow has rejected Annan's plan altogether or has simply not agreed to its final form yet.

"First of all, no agreed-upon projects exist, the work on the possible final document is going on, including a meeting of experts in Geneva," Lavrov told reporters.

"I think that the fact that certain formulas, certain ideas proposed for the possible final document by certain countries are leaked to the media manifests an improper approach to diplomacy."

A senior US diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorised to discuss diplomatic negotiations, had said international envoy Kofi Annan assured the United States that world powers gathering in Geneva had endorsed the plan and that Russia was among its backers.

Lavrov said that diplomatic efforts should focus on urging the opposition groups to "refuse from their uncompromising approaches and, in accordance with the Kofi Annan plan, sit down for negotiations with the government".

Lavrov also criticised the exclusion of major regional player Iran from Saturday's high-level meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in Geneva.

"Iran is undoubtedly a powerful player in the whole situation," Lavrov said. "Leaving it out of the loop of the Geneva meeting is a mistake."

- AP

Read more on:    kofi annan  |  bashar al-assad  |  hillary clinton  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Kuils River - 06:24 AM
    Road name: R102 Van Riebeeck Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Nooiensfontein Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 06:19 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC between the R300 Highway and the Satellite Station
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Head of Treasury - Cape Town

Cape Town
SET Recruitment Consultants
R2 000 000 Per Year

Receptionist

Western Cape
Orion Hotels & Resorts
R4 000 - R7 000 Per Month

Process Analyst

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
CR Solutions

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R4300.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.