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GENEVA, July 1 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes that the situation in Syria can be reversed if all external players work honestly with the parties in conflict persuading them to observe a ceasefire.
“We have been doing it (urging the Syrian government to comply with Annan’s plan) for the past two months. We have succeeded in making Damascus accept Annan’s plan. We are going to demand the plan’s implementation,” Lavrov said after an international Syria Action Group meeting in Geneva.
“Those who have publicly announced that they are not going to implement the plan should follow our example. Quite a number of states said that the plan wouldn’t work literally the next day (after the roadmap of the United Nations and LAS special envoy was adopted). Some wish to see the plan fail just as it was the case with the LAS mission last November,” Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister noted that an information war was being waged against Syria.
“I asked my colleagues today about blocking Syrian television channels in the European Union and some LAS countries but didn’t hear the answer. I cannot remember that an attack on Syrian television caused some kind of stir or made any association of journalists voice their stance. An information war is under way,” Lavrov emphasized.
He said that Russia was not justifying the actions of the Syrian regime, which bears the bulk of responsibility for the events in the country. “The regime is extremely late with reforms. But we cannot align ourselves with those who claim that the government uses artillery to shoot at people. There’s sufficient evidence of what (weapons) the opposition receives and how it gets it,” Lavrov stressed.
“We cannot see everything in black and white. The United Nations Security Council stressed the need to end violence by all the parties. This thought is stated clearly in a statement,” the Russian diplomat said.
Moscow uses its influence not only in dealing with Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“Our contacts with the opposition are scheduled for the foreseeable weeks. There’s a clear understanding of ideas which they profess. When we tell some of them that we are urging them to observe a ceasefire, they reply that some countries have been calling on them to do the opposite: don’t lay down arms and you will get help from abroad,” Lavrov emphasized.
“It’s necessary to exert pressure on all those who are firing in Syria, end violence and sit down to talks. We will be able to reverse the situation, if everybody does that strongly and honestly,” Lavrov said in conclusion.