NEW DELHI, October 19 (Itar-Tass) - India supports the efforts the Russian government has been undertaking for a political settlement of the Syrian conflict and the access offered by Russia and the US to elimination of the chemical weapons there, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in an interview with Russian reporters on the eve of his visit to Russia.
“I applaud the efforts of President Putin and the Russian Government in promoting a political settlement to the conflict and fully support the framework that Russia has worked out with the United States for a time-bound elimination of chemical weapons in Syria,” the prime minister said.
The conflict in Syria “Syria is not only a tragedy for the people of that country, but also threatens the stability and security of the region and can have broader economic and security consequences beyond the region,” he continued. “The use of chemical weapons, irrespective of who used them, highlights the dangers inherent in the conflict.”
“India has always held that there is no military solution to this conflict, and has consistently maintained that external military intervention will only exacerbate the conflict. We worked together with Russia on this issue when India was a member of the UN Security Council. There is an urgent need to promote a political settlement to the conflict, addressing the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. It is essential that the Geneva-2 Conference be convened at the earliest.”
Speaking about regional and international issues, the Indian head of the government stressed traditionally similar positions of the two countries.
India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is coming to Moscow on an official visit due on October 20-22. He will have talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on October 21. Summits of the kind have been taking places every other year in Russia and every other year in India.
After the visit to Moscow, the prime minister will pay a visit to China, scheduled for October 22-24.