BERLIN, July 13. /TASS/. Russia’s operation in Syria aims to prevent what has happened with Iraq rather than to support Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a forum of Germany’s Kurt Kerber’s Fund on Thursday.
"As for Assad, we do not support him, we simply categorically do not want to repeat what happened in Iraq when almost all in the West had the desire to liquidate ‘this dictator’ [Saddam Hussein]," Lavrov said, noting that "Germany stayed aside and France stayed aside" during the campaign against Hussein.
"I’m afraid of a scenario where the country would be liquidated together with him as very uneasy processes are taking place there. In Libya, simply statehood was undermined and this was also because they wanted to liquidate Muammar Qaddafi," Russia’s top diplomat said.
The Russian foreign policy in Syria relies on the norms of international law and UN Security Council decisions, Lavrov stressed.
"We are committed to the UN Security Council resolutions and in the case of Syria it is clearly written there that only the Syrian people can decide Syria’s fate," the Russian foreign minister said.
"Everyone voted for that and this project was prepared within the framework of the International Syria Support Group where Germany is a full-fledged member. Then it was approved by the UN Security Council," Lavrov said.
Russia’s foreign minister noticed in the hall the presence of German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger who had called the Russian foreign policy a catastrophe in a recent interview.
"It is interesting to know how he will characterize the policy of those who were staging the Greater Middle East in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Are triumphs probably there?" he asked rhetorically.
"We are not seeking any praise but we can quite explain for the sake of what we do particular foreign policy things," Lavrov said.