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RF expert notes real threat to escalating conflict in Syria

January 24, 2013, 17:28 UTC+3
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad enjoyed real support from the population, otherwise, he could not be in power so long, Vasilyev said
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s expert said there is a real threat to escalating the conflict in Syria.

Speaking at a press conference at the Itar-Tass news agency on Thursday, director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Vasilyev said, “The conflict can turn into the neighbouring countries – Lebanon, which is closely linked with Syria, and partially into Jordan.”

“I believe that there is a real threat to escalating the conflict.” The expert said he is convinced that Russia “will continue providing humanitarian assistance to Syria”.

Commenting on the situation in Syria, Vasilyev said, “Firstly, it is necessary to put an end to the bloodshed. Secondly, it is necessary to prevent foreign interference: the conflict should be resolved by the Syrians themselves.”

“I’m sure that our Western partners come against the tough position of Russia and China that demand the conflict should be resolved by the Syrians themselves,” Vasilyev said. “They don’t interfere into the Syrian affairs by military means,” he added.

The expert said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad enjoyed real support from the population. “Otherwise, he could not be in power so long,” Vasilyev said.

Focusing on Turkey’s position on the situation in Syria, he described it as “rash”. “In order to play a reconciliation role Ankara took the anti-regime position. There are feelings that Turks don’t know what to do,” the Russian expert stressed.

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