Friday, November 02, 2012

Russia Slams US Officials for Stance on Syria

Russia slams US officials for stance on Syria

Fri Nov 2, 2012 5:48PM GMT

Russia has slammed the US call for an overhaul of the Syrian opposition, accusing Washington of trying to resolve the crisis on its own terms.

“We heard direct orders (from the United States) about what the Syrian opposition should do to form a ‘government in exile’, and about who should join such a government,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the Syrian National Council “can no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition” and a new opposition should be formed.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement said Clinton’s comments go against the agreements world powers reached on the Syrian crisis in Geneva on June 30.

The participants of the Geneva meeting agreed that the transitional governing body in Syria “could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups, and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.”

Russia also accused US officials of ignoring Russia and China’s joint resistance to what Moscow sees as international efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“US representatives are saying that they do not intend to wait for a change in Russia and China’s position. So they are bluntly making clear that they see the Syria conflict being settled exclusively on their terms,” the statement noted.

China and Russia have vetoed the UN Security Council draft resolutions that called for tough sanctions against the Syrian government and which could have paved the way for foreign military intervention.

The two veto-wielding powers of the 15-member UN Security Council insist that the crisis must be resolved politically with Syrians as the sole decision-makers of their country’s destiny.

Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011 and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.

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