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Moscow concerned over US intention to arm Syrian opposition

May 28, 2014, 14:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“I am not trying to anticipate events. We would like to hear further statements by the United States,” Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov noted

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© AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

MOSCOW, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow is worried over Washington’s idea of arming the Syrian opposition, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday after talks with his Argentinean counterpart Hector Timmerman.

Lavrov warned against repeating mistakes made in the past.

“Portable anti-aircraft rocket launchers (if supplied to the opposition) are a very dangerous weapon and a threat to civil aircraft in the region,” Lavrov said. “I am not trying to anticipate events. We would like to hear further statements by the United States.”

Lavrov urged Washington not to forget the days when the United States was arming mujahidin rebels in Afghanistan and created Al-Qaeda, which would eventually stage the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

“We would like to prevent such repetitions,” Lavrov said.


Geneva agenda unclaimed

Russia is concerned that the agenda of Geneva talks on Syria remains unclaimed, Sergei Lavrov added.

“There is no need to count on military victory neither from the regime nor from the opposition. Talks are the only way towards settling the crisis,” Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“Our Western colleagues and the so-called national coalition do not want to go Geneva until (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad resigns. It is clear that this is an absolutely unrealistic and ideology-driven position,” he said.

“It is necessary to comply with the agreements. It is that the government and the opposition should start a dialogue to reach consensus and accord on transition structures. Accord should be reached without any ultimatums,” Lavrov said.


Telephone talks with Kerry scheduled

Russia’s Foreign Minister said he will hold a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry over the situation in Syria.

“During today’s talk, we’d like to discuss the Syrian problem,” Lavrov said on Wednesday.

Commenting on prospects for the development of the situation in Syria, he said, “I hope that the door for the dialogue remains opened.”

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