Lavrov: The Syrians only should decide their country’s future through dialogue
ABU DHABI- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday said the approach which the government and the opposition in Syria should find needed for dealing with the crisis is the approach that should be applied for the situation in Syria.
In a press conference he held with the UAE Foreign Minister in the capital Abu Dhabi , Lavrov reiterated Russia’s stance which stresses a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria based on internal dialogue led by the Syrians themselves and which includes all the sides.
“We want to make sure that it is the Syrians themselves who will be deciding their country’s future through national reconciliation, national dialogue, which is the peaceful solution to the problem and through ending violence,” Lavrov added.
He said that Russia will not allow taking the course which was applied in Libya as a model for the future, citing their concern over such attempts by some of the NATO leaders given “the Libyan tragedy which claimed tens of thousands of lives under the pretext of protecting the civilian.”
The Russian Foreign Minister stressed that “Russia does not support regimes. It supports the international law, and we have several stances regarding dealing with the international law, particularly after the Libyan tragedy.”
He reminded that Russia did not support Gaddafi’s regime, but it was supporting the initiative of the African Union “which was ignored and rejected by the senior NATO members who wanted to manipulate the Security Council’s mandate, and the price was the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.”
“We know that Syria is not Libya and the operations [in Libya] must not be a model for the future,” said Lavrov, expressing grave concern about the region’s future “since we have had decades of cooperation and friendship relations with many friends and we have several historical and cultural factors shared with the region’s countries.”
“The other reason [behind Russia’s concern] is that what might evolve from the Libyan model could have grave geo-political repercussions that could reach not only Africa but any other region in the world, in which case the use of force could be possible anywhere in the world,” Lavrov added.
He explained Russia’s efforts to find any way to avoid scenarios that could lead to the use of force because “we are geographically, historically and culturally close to this region and because we can’t afford not to care about applying the international law.”
“Any scenario relying on threats of the use of force and sanctions and based on isolating any country or any important player in the region would affect the world,” said Lavrov stressing Russia’s belief that “the correct implementation of the international laws and the engagement of all sides is the answer for any problem in Syria or elsewhere.”
Lavrov expressed his country’s standing by the proposal of reaching an agreement between the Arab League and Syria “which we believe it is a constructive approach that does not only reflect the need on the part of the Syrian government to act, but also on the part of the opposition as well.”
He said the opposition should not be linking itself to the saboteurs and extremists and the armed groups which have been receiving weapons from abroad and smuggling weapons into Syria, “neither should be rejecting the call for dialogue.”