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Russia’s Lavrov says Arab League renounce peace settlement in Syria

March 28, 2013, 20:21 UTC+3

“We learned about the results of the Arab League’s summit in Doha with much regret,” Lavrov said

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MARCH 28 (Itar-Tass) – Results of the summit conference of the Arab League indicate that the organization has renounced peace settlement of the crisis in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

“We learned about the results of the Arab League’s summit in Doha with much regret,” Lavrov said with regret. “The essence of the League’s decisions as we see them suggests that the organization has given up the peace settlement plan.”

“The fact the League recognizes the national coalition as the only legitimate representative of the Syria puts an end to the Geneva agreements,” he said.

“As for the supplies of armaments /to the Syrian opposition – Itar-Tass/, the decision aims to whip the confrontation up,” Lavrov said. “It will only stimulate the irreconcilable forces on both sides to wage a war to the victorious finale.”

He also indicated that the Arab League’s decision to transfer Syria’s seat to the opposition dooms the Geneva communiqu· and casts doubts over the mandate of the UN special representative, Lakhdar Brahimi.

“The decisions of the Arab League wipe out all the efforts that have been made to date,” Lavrov said.

The agreements that were reached previously presuppose negotiations between the government and the opposition and the issuance of recognition to only one oppositionist organization as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people makes these all the previous arrangement null and void, Lavrov said.

“It appears that the League now views the government and, on top of that, other opposition forces as illegitimate ones – especially the forces that reside inside Syria,” he said. “And the opinion of those who believe the government and the internal opposition continue representing someone is fully ignored.”

“We also noted the absence of full clarity in the procedures, as far as we could see it, because some members of the Arab League did not support the decision,” Lavrov said.

“In the meantime, if memory services me right the League’s Charter requires consensus for passing for expelling the government of a country from the organization and giving its seat to an oppositionist entity.”

He admitted however that although Moscow finds the fact to be disconcerting, it cannot do anything about the situation.

“There’s a huge question now about the mandate of Lakhdar Brahimi who acted as an official representative of both the UN and the Arab League before the Doha summit for the purpose of tapping whatever mutually acceptable solutions by the /Syrian/ government and the opposition.

“Now that the League, which is one of the founders of his mandate, calls the national coalition the only legitimate representative and implies there’ll be no more talks while the forces that want to supplant the regime will continue getting armed, I simply don’t see how Mr. Brahimi can be regarded any further as its representative.”

“I can only regret the situation where the highly respected organization, which Russia has deep-going ties with, has chained itself to the forces that reject negotiations as a way of resolving the Syrian crisis and are obsessed with toppling the regime,” Lavrov said. “We find it to be highly regrettable.”

According to international media reports, following the summit the coalition started making claims for “the seat of Syria at the United Nations and at other international organizations.”


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