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WASHINGTON, May 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The G8 countries have come to consensus on the Iranian nuclear issue, presidential special envoy to Africa and Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Mikhail Margelov said.
“The position on Iran is unified and no one wants Iran to have a nuclear bomb,” Margelov said on Saturday, May 19. “The question is how to ensure that Iran does not become a country possessing nuclear weapons.”
“There are no disagreements on Iran, unlike Syria,” he added.
“There are different approaches to Syria”, Margelov stated.
“Our position is that there can be no forcible change of regime in Syria and that the Syrians should be allowed to sort out their affairs themselves,” he said.
He said Russia intends to convey its position on Syria to the other G8 countries and caution them against attempts to cut the Syrian knot with an axe.
“The most important aspect of the Syrian issue for us is to convey our concern to our partners one more time, which can be stated as follows: one may or may not agree with [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad, one may or may not like the incumbent Syrian government and assess differently the elections held in Syria, but one cannot but try to answer the question: if the Syrian government goes, who will replace it?” Margelov said.
He stressed that the situation in Syria cannot be considered separately from the so-called “Arab Spring”, which some analysts call “Islamic Winter”.
Margelov also said that Syria is one of the key players in the efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East and the situation in that country is a matter of “colossal concern” not only to the Arab world but also to Israel.
“The Syrian crisis cannot be cut with an axe, but it can be tried to be sorted out with forceps,” Margelov said, adding that in doing so one should be guided by the “do no harm” principle.