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US statement on Geneva conference on Syria should include more self-criticism

October 14, 2013, 13:15 UTC+3

Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov calls for determining date of Geneva-2 conference as soon as possible

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Metzel

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, October 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. position on the Geneva-2 on Syria should include more self-criticism.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Lavrov said, “It is strange to hear the statements by certain officials of the U.S. Department of State when they reiterate - we’ve moving to holding the Geneva-2 conference and Russia should influence Damascus.”

“America lays the blame on Russia. We influence Damascus and such influence yields real results,” Lavrov said.

“We hope that our American partners and other countries, which have an impact on different opposition groups and encourage them to continue the fight, realise their responsibility for creating conditions to convene the Geneva-2 conference,” the minister said.

“Russia’s influence on Syria yields results. This is related to Damascus’ consent to accept the League of Arab Countries observer mission, which had been urgently recalled from Syria because there were no objective reports on the events. This is also related to Damascus’ consent on Kofi Annan’s plan to deploy U.N. observers. But they were also recalled. The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also agreed with the provisions of the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012 to convene and take part in the Geneva-2 conference without preconditions,” Lavrov said.

“Thus, I can say the U.S. should be more self-critical while saying all would be normal if only Russia influenced Damascus when opposition groups divide and the National Coalition loses its authority among militants, who call for building democracy in Syria and creating a khalifat in the country and around it,” Lavrov said.

Setting the date

It is necessary to determine the date of the Geneva-2 conference on Syria as soon as possible, Russia'sn Foreign Minister stressed.

After the talks with Honduran Foreign Minister Mireya Aguero on Monday, Lavrov said, “Only Jihadists can win in case of the delay.”

“As for prospects for the Geneva-2 conference, the Russian-U.S. initiative, which was put forth in Moscow on May 7, was confirmed at the latest meetings [with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry]. The latest meeting was held in Brunei and Indonesia,” the Russian minister said.

Conflict echoes

Earlier on Monday, Lavrov said the whole region “can feel the effects of the conflict”.

If there is no progress in the peaceful process in Syria, other regions can face its consequences, he added.

“Syria concentrates a tangle of contradictions inside the country and deep and destructive processes in the Middle East and North African region,” the Russian minister said.

“International law is unalterable in this conflict,” Lavrov added.

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