Sergey Lavrov
Photo: AP

Russian FM: West 'hysterical' over Syria

Sergey Lavrov shrugs off West's criticism over Russia, China's veto of UN Security Council resolution against Syria. 'Those who get angry are hardly ever right,' he says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the US and the West's reaction to Moscow and Beijing's veto on the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, calling it "almost hysterical."


"Those who get angry are hardly ever right," Lavrov stated at a media conference in Moscow. He is expected to arrive on an official visit to Syria on Tuesday.


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Earlier Monday, Washington announced it was closing its embassy in Damascus, while London recalled its ambassador to the Syrian capital.  




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US President Barack Obama said that "We have been relentless in sending a message that it is time for Assad to go. This is not going to be a matter of if, it's going to be a matter of when."


British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the Syrian regime was "a doomed regime. There is no way it can recover its credibility internationally."


Expanding on the matter, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the US would seek to work outside the UN to "strengthen and deepen and broaden the international community pressure on Assad... to work with as many countries as we can to increase both regional sanctions and unilateral national sanctions on the Assad regime."


Lavrov, however, said that there was more than one source of violence in Syria, adding that that is why Moscow has supported the Arab League's initiative for Syria, which urges an end to all violence.


Lavrov with Assad (Archives: AFP)


Syrian President Bashar Assad has repeatedly claimed that the bloodshed in Syria was the result of "domestic terrorism," and has vowed to fight it relentlessly.


Lavrov added that prior to the veto, Russia submitted several amendments to the proposed Security Council resolution in order to "eliminate the imbalance (phrasing) and describe concrete steps that we expect from the opposition and the international community concerning armed extremists in Syria."


Among Moscow's proposal was a bilateral withdrawal of armed forces from various towns in Syria and a call on the Opposition to split from extremists.


Moscow, he said, "Was surprised at the Security Council's decision to turn down absolutely logical amendments."


“We've repeatedly urged Damascus to speed up reforms and we are continuing to do so. But we also see that there are those who have other goals," Lavrov was quoted as saying.


"(They) are trying to use this movement in order to change the regime… (The Syrian opposition) is insistently advised from outside not to accept any compromise with the government. Besides that, external players encourage armed groups – including extremists – and supply them with weapons, as well as providing support in other forms," Lavrov stated.


The US has decided to send a senior Treasury Department official to Russia and the Middle East for talks about sanctions on Syria and Iran.


Daniel Glaser, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for terrorist financing, will visit Doha, Muscat and Moscow from February 6-10.


According to the US Treasury, the talks will detail "the need for authorities to remain vigilant against attempts by the Syrian regime to evade international sanctions."


AP and AFP contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 02.07.12, 00:31
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