MOSCOW, August 27 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow hopes that the United States will fulfil its part of obligations on the preparation of a conference on Syria in Geneva, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich stated on Tuesday in connection with the U.S. decision to postpone a Russian-American meeting on Syria.
“The U.S. side has proposed to postpone the Russian-American official meeting on preparation of an international conference on Syriascheduled for August 28 in The Hague,” the diplomat said. “It referred to the need ‘to clarify the situation around Syria’ due to the current UN experts’ investigation into the alleged chemical weapons use in East Ghouta near Damascus on August 21.”
“Washington’s decision to postpone the aforementioned meeting just on the eve of the agreed date has been quite disappointing for Moscow,” Lukashevich said, recalling that the U.S. and Russian foreign policy chiefs had arranged in Washington, D.C. on August 9 to organize such an event in order to facilitate convening of an international Conference on Syria hoping to stop of all violence in the country and begin the Syrian conflict political resolution process.
Moscow is convinced “that in the current dramatic situation around Syria, which is artificially exacerbated by a number of countries, coordinated actions of Russia and the United States, as well as the entire world community for a peaceful way out of the crisis, based on the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, assumes ever greater importance.” “In a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on August 25 Sergei Lavrov received assurances from Kerry that the U.S. side remained committed to the joint U.S.-Russian initiative to convene the Geneva-2 international conference and get the opposition’s consent to participate in this forum,” the Russian diplomat said. “However, the U.S. decision to postpone the meeting in The Hague, in contrast, sends a conflicting signal to the opposition, encouraging it to take an uncompromising stance in anticipation of intervention of external forces.” “Also in this context we have to consider John Kerry’s speech of August 26 in which he categorically stated that the U.S. side has ‘conclusive evidence’ on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, although this ‘data’ has not been presented,” he added.
“This U.S. position does not conform to the arrangements of the Group of Eight leaders, which in the Declaration adopted at the Lough Erne Summit strongly emphasised the need for an independent investigation into all cases of chemical weapons use in Syria and the presentation of the results of such investigation to the UN Security Council,” Lukashevich said.
“Attempts to circumvent the Security Council and once again to create artificial unfounded pretexts for military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries in the Middle East and North Africa,” Lukashevich emphasised.
“We call on our American colleagues and all members of the international community to act with prudence, strictly observe international law, above all, the fundamental principles of the UN Charter,” the RF Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “The most urgent task is to call the Geneva-2 conference, and we expect the United States to fulfil its part of obligations on the preparation of this conference.”