MOSCOW, November 5 (Itar-Tass) —— Speculation that Russia’s position on Syria has negatively affected its reputation in the region has proved wrong, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Al-Ahram newspaper published on the Foreign Ministry’s official website on Monday, November 5.
“When building our foreign policy line, we have always given paramount importance to the supremacy of international law and rejection of double standards. This rule applies to all international problems. Developments in the Middle East, including Syria, are not an exception,” he said.
Russia “protects the inviolability of the basic principles of international law enshrined in the U.N. Charter, such as respect for the independence, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and non-interference in their internal affairs”, the minister noted. “We firmly advocate a stronger central role of the United Nations and its Security Council in maintaining international peace, stability and security. We defend the right of all peoples, including Syrians, to choose their destiny without diktat, let alone armed intervention from the outside,” he said.
“Such responsible approach on the part of Russia has met an understanding in the world, in the region, and among the Syrians. The political forces that earlier criticised the Russian Federation are beginning to beginning to become more responsive to our line of conduct with regard to the Syrian crisis. The Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, I mentioned above, is confirmation that more and more players involved in the Syrian affairs are beginning to listen to us. This document was adopted by consensus at a meeting of the Action Group, with the participation of the League of Arab States,” Lavrov stressed.
“I think that this alone would be enough to draw a conclusion about how the Russian policy is perceived in the Arab world. My contacts with colleagues from Arab countries, including at a session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, do not confirm assertions that our stance on Syria has negatively affected Russia’s reputation in the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.
Certainly, in different countries of the world, including in the Middle East, North Africa and Syria, “there remain those who advocates an overthrow of the ruling regime in Syria by all means, basically neglecting the fact that this course will mean new casualties among the peaceful population. It is more important to them not to save as many lives as possible by stopping the fighting and starting a dialogue between the government and the opposition, but to finish off the Bashar al-Assad regime at any cost,” Lavrov said. “By pursuing their geopolitical agenda, they are advancing a simplified and politically motivated vision of the Syrian conflict and are trying to discredit Russia’s position.”
“Unfortunately, it is not easy to urge such ‘hotheads’ to be guided by common sense. However they more and more often remain in the minority,” he noted.