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Any military help to Syrian opposition to lead to conflict escalation – Churkin

November 30, 2012, 6:44 UTC+3
“Any military help will only do harm and will only lead to further escalation of the conflict,” Churkin warned
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UNITED NATIONS, November 30 (Itar-Tass) — Any military help to the Syrian opposition will only escalate the conflict, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said, commenting on mass media reports that the United States is considering the possibility of starting direct arms supplies to the insurgents who are pressing for President Bashar al-Assad resignation.

“Any military help will only do harm and will only lead to further escalation of the conflict,” Churkin warned. He also voiced concern over reports about the deployment of Patriot missile systems on the Turkish-Syrian border. “Arms supplies in the conflict zone will certainly increase tensions. We are concerned about developments,” he said.

According to Churkin, the international community should understand that “the military solution doesn't work”, that the conflict has reached a point where Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, speaks about “‘Somalisation’ of Syria”, that is, complete destabilisation of the situation. “This is a realistic and actually frightening perspective,” the diplomat said.

He believes it necessary “to find responsible people on either side” of the conflict which understand that “the time has come to be creative, to give up their pride and start a dialogue”. Russia, in turn, “is ready to discuss new political steps for conflict settlement in Syria”, the permanent representative said. “It is probably the time to hold a new meeting of the Action Group for Syria,” he added.

In August Russia suggested holding a meeting of the Action Group for Syria at the level of ambassadors to the United Nations in the same format as at the latest consultations in Geneva on June 30, that is, with the participation of the Russian Federation, Great Britain, the United States, China, France, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, and the European Union. However, this initiative encountered resistance from Western members of the U.N. Security Council. In early November Churkin said that Russia’s proposal remained in force.

The Geneva Communique adopted on June 30 reflects the consensus among all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the League of Arab States, Turkey, the EU and the U.N. Secretary-General. It calls, in particular, for encouraging the parties to stop all violence as soon as possible and appoint negotiators from the government and the opposition in order to start the political process aimed at carrying out real democratic reforms in Syria in accordance with the expectations of all Syrian people.

Churkin recalled that Russia had made two attempts to get draft resolutions supporting the Geneva arrangements through the U.N. Security Council, but both times they were opposed by Western countries.

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