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Putin warns against attempts to decide Syria’s future for its people

June 02, 2012, 2:26 UTC+3

We find acceptable everything that is acceptable for the Syrian people

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PARIS, June 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned France and the world community against attempts to try to decide the future of Syria for its people.

“We find acceptable everything that is acceptable for the Syrian people,” he said at a joint news conference with Francois Hollande following talks at the Champs Elysee palace on Friday.

“Violence must be brought to an end on both sides, the parties to the conflict persuaded to take seats at the negotiating table, and a situation created in which they will be able to come to terms,” he explained.

“But we cannot decide that for the Syrian people,” Putin said.

As an example Putin pointed to other countries in the region, including Libya and Iraq.

“Have they become safer places, better places? Where are they moving? No answer,” Putin said. “We suggest acting delicately and in a balanced way at least in Syria.”

“Why do you think that if we oust somebody from power, tomorrow there will be Earth’s paradise?” he asked the media audience. Putin recalled the situation in Libya, where after the overthrow of Gaddafi the situation has got merely worse.

“We are neither for Assad nor for his opponents,” Putin said, adding that actions to be taken in Syria should be delicate and accurate.

“Our choice is not between friends or foes. We wish to bring about a situation where there will be possible a peace political settlement of the conflict,” he said, adding that Bashar Assad had been a more frequent guest in Paris than in Moscow.

Putin dismissed the speculations Russia had some sort of special relationship with Syria.

“We have an old-time relationship to share, but when I hear that we have some special interests there, it is sheer delusion,” Putin said. “The sole thing that we are concerned about is the risk of a radicalization of the situation there. Loss of control. Civilian casualties,” Putin said.

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