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MOSCOW, March 1 (Itar-Tass) – It is an open secret for Russia that Al Qaida militants are among those who are fighting on the side of the Syrian opposition, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday in a comment on earlier remarks by the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
“It’s no secret at all that the West rejects our steps, or else they are blocked by the irreconcilable Syrian opposition, to say nothing of the armed units, in the ranks of which Al Qaida militants and other extremists are fighting with the government forces,” he said.
“The longer the opposition is enticed to reject a dialogue with the Syrian regime and to continue armed struggle, the more the peaceful civilians will be suffering,” Lukashevich said.
“It’s the intransigence of armed units in Homs that doesn’t make it possible to evacuate foreign correspondents from there, although all the necessary measures for this have been coordinated by the Syrian authorities and the International Red Cross with Russia’s assistance,” he said.
Lukashevich also said that in planning its actions at the UN Security Council Russia will proceed from importance of the international community’s demand to all the parties to the conflict in Syria to stop combat operations.
“If our partners make sincere statements about putting an end to the civilians’ sufferings, then the international community must make an immediate demand that all the parties to the conflict stop the combat operations immediately and this will give an opportunity to resolve acute humanitarian problems and will set the scene for the opening of a pan-Syria dialogue,” Lukashevich said.
“That’s precisely what we always proceed from at the UN Security Council meetings,” he said.