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Russia finds expulsion of Syrian ambassadors counterproductive

May 30, 2012, 16:09 UTC+3

Moscow "adheres to the need to act strictly in compliance with the logic of Kofi Annan’s peace plan"

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MOSCOW, May 30 (Itar-Tass) — Russia finds the expulsion of Syrian ambassadors from the capitals of leading Western countries counterproductive, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said on Wednesday.

“Several countries, which are included in the so-called Group of Syrian Friends, decided to expel Syrian ambassadors and in several cases Syrian diplomats over the reports on an alleged Damascus involvement in the tragedy in Al Houla,” the diplomat stated.

“We can comment on this decision only in view of international efforts to promote a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis. From this point of view, we find the expulsion of the ambassadors as a counterproductive step, as the most important channels, along which it could be possible to share views and exert a constructive influence on the Syrian government for its encouragement to further steps to fulfil Kofi Annan’s peace plan, turned out to be sealed off,” the Russian diplomat said. “They do not want to listen to Damascus, and, from our point of view, this is harmful for the issue in the current situation,” Lukashevich underlined.

“Russian position is known to be based on different logic. We are doing our best to alleviate tensions between the Syrian warring parties and in this respect we are maintaining intensive contacts not only with the Syrian government, but also with various opposition groups, including those who are not quite sympathetic to us,” he recalled.

Meanwhile, Moscow “adheres to the need to act strictly in compliance with the logic of Kofi Annan’s peace plan, which the UN Security Council approved, as we see no alternative to it now,” Lukashevich noted.

Such EU states as Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and France and such countries as the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan stated about the expulsion of the Syrian ambassadors. 

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