SYDNEY, June 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russia that has an influence on Syria “can play an instrumental role in facilitating a political solution to the crisis” in the country, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen believes. He arrived in Australia on a working visit.
“I strongly regret that the UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement on a legally binding resolution on Syria,” Rasmussen pointed out. “I think that failure (of the UN Security Council) sent a very unfortunate - not to say dangerous - signal to the Assad regime.”
The NATO Secretary General also stressed that he believes that a foreign military intervention, similar to what happened in Libya, is not the answer to the Syrian crisis. “There is a clear difference between Libya and Syria,” Rasmussen explained. “We took responsibility for the operation in Libya because there was a clear United Nations mandate to protect the civilian population against attacks, [but] none of these conditions are fulfilled when it comes to Syria.”
The NATO Secretary General did not give a direct answer to the question whether he believed that a civil war has started in Syria. Rasmussen said that he is not an expert in law and does not know whether the term “civil war” is applicable to what is happening in Syria. However, there is no doubt that the situation in Syria is very serious and he knows about the “outrageous” actions of the Syrian regime and forces loyal to this regime.