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Demands for Assad regime capitulation unrealistic - Lavrov

September 01, 2012, 15:42 UTC+3

The only possible solution on Syria is that taken by the Syrians themselves

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MOSCOW, September 1 (Itar-Tass) — Demands for unilateral capitulation of the Syrian government forces are unrealistic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday at a traditional meeting with students and teaching staff of Moscow State Institute of International Relations ( MGIMO-University).

“The only possible solution on Syria is that taken by the Syrians themselves,” he said.

Lavrov recalled that Russian diplomats regularly met with representatives of Syria’s government and both internal and external opposition.

“When the new chairman of the Syrian National Council arrived in Moscow, he began by saying that under any circumstances he is interested in good relations with Russia and noted that a revolution is underway in Syria. If this is a revolution, why then do you want to resolve this issue in the UN Security Council?”

Lavrov emphasized that the UN Security Council was not empowered to support a revolution or external interference.

“External interference should be positive: every foreign player should make all Syrian parties, especially those on whom this player has special influence, stop violence,” the diplomat said. “This is what we’ve discussed in Geneva and fixed in the Geneva communique.”

“But when they say the government should stop violence first and withdraw troops and military hardware from cities and then it is necessary to address the opposition, this is an absolutely non-working scheme. This is something naive or provocative,” he said.

“Irrespective of what relation you have to the Syrian regime, it is absolutely unreal to say - when the fighting in cities continues - that the only way out is unilateral capitulation of one of the belligerent parties,” the diplomat said adding that Moscow did not support any regime or any individual and only proceeded from an assumption what was real.

Lavrov recalled an initiative of the Syrian National Coordination Committee that was practically consonant with the Geneva agreements.

“The committee’s initiative meets the interests of the soonest possible way out of the crisis and prevention of more deaths. Some countries’ position on unilateral capitulation of the Syrian government and support of the opposition’s further armed struggle means that they are ready to pay with more human lives. They are guided not by the interests of the Syrian people, but by their own geopolitical considerations.”

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