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RF veto on UN resolution on Syria opens way to dialogue

October 10, 2011, 16:12 UTC+3

Russia’s veto on the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria opens the way to a national dialogue

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MOSCOW, October 10 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s veto on the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria opens the way to a national dialogue, said head of the Syrian opposition delegation Qadri Jameel of the Front of Change and Liberation.

“We arrived in Moscow to thank Russia for its veto on the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria,” Jameel said after the talks with Russian Federation Council Committee on International Relations Chairman Mikhail Margelov on Monday.

“The fact is that you prevented the external interference into internal affairs of Syria and opened the way to the dialogue, and gave guarantees for protecting the peaceful population of our country,” the head of the Syrian delegation stressed.

He agreed that the inter-Syrian dialogue “should begin immediately. Every day of delay leads to new victims. Today the time has passed to start talks by preserving the unity of Syria. I don’t know what chances will be when victims increase”.

In addition, one of the leaders of the Syrian Communist Party said the inter-political dialogue was conditioned by “a responsible and reasonable approach” of all participants. “Both the regime and the opposition should be ready for compromises. None should start talks with a position that it is going to impose on other side,” he noted.

Commenting on Russia’s role in this process, Jameel said he expressed gratitude to Moscow for its efforts to settle the Syrian problem. He said Syria “waits for Russia’s advice and aid”. He also said the opposition “does not take offence at contacts between Russia and other anti-government forces. There are two oppositions in Syria – patriotic and non-patriotic. Our movement will not hold talks with non-patriotic forces. This is our point of view and we haven’t imposed it on anyone. If, for example, Russia does this, we will take offence at it”.

During the meeting, Margelov urged Bashar al-Assad “not to delay real reforms, to hold a dialogue with all parties involved in the conflict and not with those who agree to maintain contacts”.

According to the Russian legislator, “it is necessary to start an inter-political dialogue immediately because the latest news prove that the situation is becoming more and more tense. The number of victims increases. We understand that when the first shots fired there were no good or bad in the conflict,” he added.

Speaking about Russia’s position on the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria, Margelov explained that Moscow “came against prospects for new sanctions on Syria that could lead to tragic events in Syria as in Libya.” “I’ve come to Libya this summer and I see my own eyes what has happened there. We wouldn’t like this scenario to repeat once again,” Margelov, who is also presidential special envoy for Africa, stressed.

At the same time, he pointed out that Moscow’s veto “is not an act of grace towards the Bashar al-Assad regime. It is important to realise that Russia’s veto is not an act of grace or a carte blanche for the current Syrian regime. If the Syrian regime did not understand this signal, it should do this in the short run”.

In an interview with the Profile weekly earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria created conditions for the external interference.

Lavrov said the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria created conditions for the external interference and Russia came against this.

“The resolution put forth by our Western partners causes damage to several provisions and we come against it,” he stressed.

In particular, instead of “weapons embargo” the resolution calls for “displaying vigilance” related to all arms supplies to Syria, the minister noted. “By taking into account our partners’ capabilities we can be sure that if this resolution is adopted, they will turn “this vigilance” into the real embargo. We remember how they complied with the embargo imposed on Libya. Despite the embargo, our partners’ capabilities are well-known for us. They seek to arm one of the parties involved in the conflict.”

“In addition, the resolution contains an ultimatum, and only to the government of Bashar al-Assad: if we are not satisfied with your behaviour in a month, we will impose sanctions. Thus, we can say if the resolution is adopted, it will be refuted by its addressee. We come against this and we wouldn’t want to create conditions for the inevitable external interference,” Lavrov pointed out.

“We are concerned over the fact that when during discussions on the resolution, we proposed to include a point on the impossibility of the external interference under any circumstances, the co-authors of the resolution – Western countries – flatly refused. In our view, the West’s statement saying Syria is ‘another thing’ and ‘the Libyan scenario’ cannot be used are seriously overvalued,” the minister said.

“We call for adopting a balanced resolution, which will condemn violence of any side. In addition, we want to demand al-Assad continue reforms, it is necessary to convince the Syrian opposition to start talks and come to an agreement. We are ready to propose such resolution jointly with our Chinese partners,” Lavrov said.

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