Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Russia's Lavrov slams attempts to portray Geneva-2 as failure

Attempts to portray the results of the Geneva-2 international peace conference on Syria as a failure and push for military intervention in Syria are categorically unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"Everyone is saying that there can be no military solution. But increasing attempts to portray Geneva-2 as failure against the backdrop of those statements give the impression that someone is harboring a military scenario. This is categorically unacceptable," Lavrov told reporters after talks with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh a-Sabah.
Russia hopes to agree with UN on Syria aid resolution soon
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday the UN resolution on humanitarian aid access in Syria could be agreed in "the coming days" if Security Council members do not seek to "politicise" the issue, Interfax reported.
Moscow expects the UN Security Council to come to agreement on a resolution on humanitarian aid for Syria within days, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Moscow initially opposed a Western-Arab draft resolution on aid to Syria but then proposed its own text, saying it was ready for negotiations.
"If no one in the Security Council politicizes the issue or tries to push unilateral approaches, then, I am convinced, we will be able to reach agreement in the coming days," Lavrov said during the third ministerial meeting within the framework of strategic dialogue between Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which was held in Kuwait on Wednesday.

Russia's Ambassador Churkin hopes UNSC will pass Syria resolution
The Russian authorities are hopeful that the draft resolution on humanitarian aid access to Syria that is currently being debated by the UN Security Council will eventually be adopted, Moscow's Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters. "I believe that the humanitarian resolution will be discussed in the first place as a priority. In my opinion, it will include some strongly worded references to terrorism, but it does not mean that we will stop pushing for the adoption of the [UN] Security Council President's statement on counterterrorism," Churkin said.
"I cannot say that we are far away from this now. We share an understanding of the gravity of the humanitarian situation in Syria," he said.
The US Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power, for her part, said that the United States would seek the adoption of a tough-worded resolution submitted by the West.
UN Under Secretary of State for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, who took part in the UN Security Council session, said that some 1,400 civilians have been evacuated from the Syrian city of Homs over the past few days.

Amos called it a success secured in the extremely complicated conditions, but not progress, adding that another 250,000 people are still awaiting evacuation.
On February 12, Russia submitted its own draft resolution concerning the humanitarian situation in Syria to the UN Security Council as an alternative to the document proposed by Western countries.
Russia also criticized the Western draft resolution, saying that it may effectively impose sanctions on the Syrian authorities in the future.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday in relation to the West-proposed document that "it appears that now they attempt to use the humanitarian topic, same as the topic of chemical weapons that was recently used, in order to find a pretext to undermine the political process, to accuse the regime in Damascus of everything and to create a pretext to return to a military scenario with the purpose of changing the regime."
"We think that this is absolutely counterproductive," Lavrov said.

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