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West loses influence upon Syrian revolutionary forces coalition – FM

December 22, 2012, 19:23 UTC+3
Lavrov said instead of complying with the Geneva agreements the West had backed the formation of the National Coalition for Opposition Forces
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MOSCOW, December 22 (Itar-Tass) — Western sponsors lose the influence upon the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Saturday.

Lavrov said instead of complying with the Geneva agreements the West had backed the formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces at the conference in Doha.

“The Doha conference adopted a declaration, which said: ‘The key purpose is to overthrown the regime [of al-Assad] by military means and dismantle the institutions, i.e. they turn 180 degrees aside Geneva’. No dialogue with the authorities is being held,” the Russian minister said.

“I asked [U.S. Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton [Americans upheld the coalition as the unique representative of the Syrian people]: ‘How is that?’ Hillary replied that the key task was to unite the opposition. Two weeks passed. The Friends of Syria met in Marrakesh and the Coalition and Americans said they supported this group [the Coalition],” Lavrov said.

“We repeat our question: you pledged us that you would convince them to take the unbiased, Geneva, platform. They keep silence. Today we’ve asked the same question to our European friends who also recognised this coalition. There was no word ‘unique’, simply ‘representatives of the Syrian people’. They also keep silence,” the minister said.

“I believe that the Western sponsors are losing the influence upon it,” Lavrov pointed out.

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