Russia, Syrian opposition deadlock over Assad’s fate

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Syrian opposition talks with Russia on a political transition in Damascus ended in discord on Wednesday as an opposition leader said Moscow’s policies were helping to prolong the bloodshed in the pivotal Arab country.

“The Syrian people don’t understand Russia’s position. How can Russia keep supplying arms? How can they keep vetoing resolutions? There needs to be an end to mass killings,” said Burhan Ghalioun, former leader of the Syrian National Council.

Russia has acted as one of Assad’s few supporters, sending him arms and blocking Western-led attempts to isolate him with U.N. sanctions while violence in Syria has raged on, raising the death toll over 17,000, by a count of opposition activists.

Syria’s opposition has conditioned starting talks with the Damascus government on Assad relinquishing power. But Russia – long a big arms supplier to Damascus – has said this is unacceptable and not part of an international peace plan laid out by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

“We have made it very clear that any transition period must start with Assad’s departure as otherwise we are really not dealing with the problem,” Abdelbasset Sida, leader of the opposition Syrian National Council, told reporters in Moscow.

A member of the SNC delegation said that Moscow had not fundamentally changed its position but that while Russian diplomats were “contradicting themselves”, he said they were “looking for a genuine solution”.

The talks followed separate meetings with other opposition leaders in Moscow on Monday as Russia strives to boost its diplomatic clout in international negotiations over how to end Syria’s bloodshed.

INTERNATIONAL IMPASSE

The United States and its European and Gulf Arab allies have said Assad, whose family has dominated Syria for 42 years, must go to enable a peaceful transition. Russia, China and Iran have disagreed, helping Assad withstand pressure to step down.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pressed the Syrian National Council on the Annan plan and points agreed during the meeting of an “Action Group” in Geneva on June 30, which envisages a political transition but leave Assad’s fate open.

“Lavrov decisively called on counterparts to take a clear and unequivocal position confirming the readiness of the SNC to carry out its obligations,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.

Russian officials said Moscow was committed to a political transition in Syria but that a dialogue between government and opposition should not require Assad’s departure.

But in a move that, if confirmed, may presage a Russian shift away from the authoritarian Syrian leader as rebel forces have gained some strength, a Russian arms trade official was quoted earlier this week as saying Moscow would deliver no more weapons to Assad while the fighting continued.

Russia circulated a draft resolution at the United Nations on Tuesday to extend a U.N. monitoring mission in Syria now bottled up in hotels by the violence.

A source in the Russian navy said a Russian warship had left for Syria on Tuesday and another military source said four more were en route there but that this had nothing to do with the Syrian conflict.

The sources said the vessels were carrying provisions to a small maintenance and repair facility that Russia maintains in the Syrian port of Tartous, the only naval base it has outside of the former Soviet Union.

Reuters

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10 responses to “Russia, Syrian opposition deadlock over Assad’s fate”

  1. George Kender Comney Avatar
    George Kender Comney

    Why
    are the last nazi war criminals, like Alois Bruner, hiding in Syria?
    Nesselrode sent Porphy Uspensky to de-Hellenize the Antiochians which
    led to Michel Aflaq founding the Nazi Ba’ath party which is why
    ras-Putin hid Saddam’s WMD in Syria!  Ohlig & Puim show Islamic
    extremism came from Syriac miaphysates, products of Chrysustolm trying
    to consummate the Channukah crimes of his Seleucid forefathers.
    (“Questioning is the subversion of faith” Homily I on I Timothy I-  Such
    was the dark mind that led Justinian to abolish the universities and
    Olympics and bring on the plagues.) Ochrafuxy is the mother of Islam and
    bolshevism because they reject Aristotle in favor of Plato. We need a
    Christian Samaritania buffer state surrounding Israel. Just as we
    neutralized Greece during the Crimean and Cold wars, we need to give the
    Balkans back to the aboriginal Albanian Pelasgians to prevent soviet
    access to the straits. Iran and North Korea both share borders with
    Russia and are ras-Putin’s ploy to raise oil prices which is why we must
    fearlessly pursue the therminucular rapture against the magog’s attempt
    to destabilize the Saudis.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Wow.

    2. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Wow.

  2. George Kender Comney Avatar
    George Kender Comney

    Why
    are the last nazi war criminals, like Alois Bruner, hiding in Syria?
    Nesselrode sent Porphy Uspensky to de-Hellenize the Antiochians which
    led to Michel Aflaq founding the Nazi Ba’ath party which is why
    ras-Putin hid Saddam’s WMD in Syria!  Ohlig & Puim show Islamic
    extremism came from Syriac miaphysates, products of Chrysustolm trying
    to consummate the Channukah crimes of his Seleucid forefathers.
    (“Questioning is the subversion of faith” Homily I on I Timothy I-  Such
    was the dark mind that led Justinian to abolish the universities and
    Olympics and bring on the plagues.) Ochrafuxy is the mother of Islam and
    bolshevism because they reject Aristotle in favor of Plato. We need a
    Christian Samaritania buffer state surrounding Israel. Just as we
    neutralized Greece during the Crimean and Cold wars, we need to give the
    Balkans back to the aboriginal Albanian Pelasgians to prevent soviet
    access to the straits. Iran and North Korea both share borders with
    Russia and are ras-Putin’s ploy to raise oil prices which is why we must
    fearlessly pursue the therminucular rapture against the magog’s attempt
    to destabilize the Saudis.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Wow.

  3. Patience2 Avatar
    Patience2

    Assad is a murderer just like Putin, wouldn’t you expect one to stand up for the other? They both like pulling teeth without anesthetic. (Putin the ‘ski’ spymaster and Assad the kindly doctor, wouldn’t you like them working in your mouth?)

    1. 73Corty77 Avatar
      73Corty77

      You have claimed that Assad is a Murderer due to the false information you get form the Media. Now you claim the Putin is as well. Just dying to know how you have come up with this. And please don’t tell me because he is supporting Assad.

    2. 73Corty77 Avatar
      73Corty77

      You have claimed that Assad is a Murderer due to the false information you get form the Media. Now you claim the Putin is as well. Just dying to know how you have come up with this. And please don’t tell me because he is supporting Assad.

  4. Patience2 Avatar
    Patience2

    Assad is a murderer just like Putin, wouldn’t you expect one to stand up for the other?

    1. 73Corty77 Avatar
      73Corty77

      You have claimed that Assad is a Murderer due to the false information you get form the Media. Now you claim the Putin is as well. Just dying to know how you have come up with this. And please don’t tell me because he is supporting Assad.

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