News24

Russia: Syria opposition too divided

2013-05-22 22:08

Moscow - Russia said on Wednesday that the Syrian opposition had not yet shown enough commitment to efforts, to arrange a peace conference with President Bashar Assad's government.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov praised the Syrian government's response to joint US-Russian efforts to seek a resolution to the more than two-year-old conflict but said the opposition was too divided to agree on its participation.

"We value the constructive reaction of the Syrian leadership to this proposal," Lavrov said at talks with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Moscow.

"We also hope that a constructive reaction from various opposition groups... will follow. So far, however, the news is not hopeful."

Lavrov called on countries with "real influence over the irreconcilable opposition" to help bring them to the talks.

Hampering peace efforts

He also repeated Moscow's belief that some of Assad's foes were using violence in order to hamper peace efforts, referring to the recent abduction of Mekdad's father.

"We are seeing attempts by various forces, at any time when a ray of hope appears, to take actions to undermine movement forward," Lavrov said.

Mekdad said the "coming together" of Russia and the US could help resolve the conflict that has killed at least 80 000 people, but he accused rebels of undermining peace efforts.

He said Syria's leadership would "strive for a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis. Unfortunately, such an approach is not finding an appropriate answer”.

No date has been set for a peace conference, and neither diplomat gave any details on its possible timing on Wednesday.

Comments
  • Broomhilda Django - 2013-05-23 05:51

    The VAST majority in Syria would back the Syrian government today, and that is I believe, the main reason the US along with others have been more than a bit slack in trying to get a peaceful diplomatic solution to the crisis, instead they have been actively encouraging the slaughter of Syrians. Russia has done the right thing. Only a fool would suggest that a bombing campaign by Nato would somehow bring peace to Syria.

      Sharon Gien-Cambier - 2013-05-23 06:36

      The west were told to stay out of it. Its a civil war......what an ironic name for so much death and destruction within a country.

      Anthony Michael - 2013-05-23 09:02

      Broomhilda, Come on, how do you know, the 'vast' majority of Syrians back the Syrian government! Who told you so ? This is what it is all about.... For fifty years the opposition has asked/demanded elections, and for fifty years the assads tightened their grip on Syria more and more, becoming one of the most oppresive regimes in the world! In a country where there has been little development in the last fifty years, and where the majority of the population earns less than two dollars a day, it is highly unlikely, the majority believes they have a great government!!

      Anthony Michael - 2013-05-23 09:07

      . The only thing Russia has done, is supplied the military hardware, that has made it possible for assad to remain in power!! NO ONE has suggested to have a Nato bombing campaign in Syria. But what would speed up peace in Syria, is a 'no fly zone' and so shoot down any Syrian plane out of the sky! The Air Force is the only unit of the Syrian army, assad has an advantage over the opposition !!!

      Larry - 2013-05-23 21:58

      From a later thread "...an uprising that began with months of peaceful protests. His violent response eventually ignited an armed revolt." Assad is a criminal. Some people love to hero-worship criminals. Fidel, there you go again with the 'many' and 'VAST majority' - such unauthoratative statements coming from you.

  • Piet Boerie - 2013-05-23 07:26

    The current Russian regime is evil and needs to be replaced. We have midget Putaputin thinking he is Napoloen. Most people don't even want you, hold a fair election and you will be out. Putaputin

      Bones Mine - 2013-05-23 08:31

      You are an idiot. He is one of the best premiers that Russia has ever had.

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