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RF FM urges Syrian opposition to assist in immediate release of all foreigners captured in Syria

December 20, 2012, 19:42 UTC+3

Abandoning constructive approaches, boycotting the dialogue with the Syrian government and putting a stake on a forcible solution and foreign aid

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MOSCOW, December 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia urged the Syrian opposition to assist in an immediate release of all foreigners, including two Russians, who were captured in Syria, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

“The situation in Syria is becoming more and more difficult and contradictory,” the Russian diplomat said. “The operation of the governmental forces continues to mop up the suburbs of Damascus. The gunmen, which are being ousted from some districts, are seeking to take a shelter and reinforce their positions at other places, actually misusing the local population as a live shield,” Lukashevich said. “The Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk, which is situated eight kilometres south of the Syrian capital, also did not make the exception. After fierce clashes broke out in its blocks a substantial part of its residents left it, seeking to find a refuge in more tranquil places or neighbouring Lebanon,” he recalled.

“With regret we note a tough psychological pressure remaining in Western and Arab media that is obviously intended for the shaking of state and public institutes in Syria. The materials are being made public that should leave no doubts according to the idea of the authors that for a crucial victory the armed gunmen lack, say, only additional supplies of the air defence missile systems and the deployment of the Patriot missiles on the Turkish-Syrian border,” Lukashevich said.

“We find particularly dangerous and criminal the statements actually with the appeals for the support to terrorism activities amid repeated terrorist acts (another strong blast, which rocked Aleppo on December 19 that claimed 40 people) and the support for illegal armed units from several Western and regional capitals,” the Russian diplomat pointed out.

“For instance, activist of the Syrian opposition Heitam al-Maleh stated recently that he finds citizens of Russia and Iran as “legal targets” for the gunmen in Syria,” the spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Coming media reports about the family tragedy in Aleppo – the murder of a Russian wife by a Syrian husband – point to the fact that these appeals are taken as the calls to the practical actions, particularly we do not rule out that this is done for the cover of criminal crimes.”

“Abandoning constructive approaches, boycotting the dialogue with the Syrian government and putting a stake on a forcible solution and foreign aid, the unappeasable opposition is sliding down to the logic of the total civil war,” Lukashevich noted.

Russia “takes into consideration a press release of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition that rejects the statements with the threats against the Russian citizens, which are staying in Syria.” “We expect that such approaches will be strictly substantiated with the deeds, particularly the assistance to an immediate unconditional release of all foreign citizens, who were captured in Syria, particularly Russians V.V. Gorelov and Abdessattar Hassun, Italian Mario Belluomo, Ukrainian Ankhar Kochneva and others,” Lukashevich noted.

“Again on the basis of the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the Geneva agreements of the Action Group, we urged all foreign players to cease morally and materially to support the intentions of the opposition for a military solution to the conflict,” Lukashevich noted. “Such external ‘aid’ can only ruin Syria, increase the victims and the sufferings of its people,” he underlined. Russia is deeply convinced that “only peaceful and political ways of the national dialogue and negotiations without any preliminary conditions can be used to make legal expectations of all Syrians come true,” Lukashevich underlined.

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