Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that
Western politicians have started to admit that allowing Syrian President Bashar Assad
to stay in power is a lesser evil than an Islamist regime.
“Some of our Western colleagues have started voicing the idea – not only in private
conversations, but also publicly – that the rule of President Assad is a lesser threat
to Syria, taking into account the growing influence of jihadists and terrorists who
capture vast territories, impose sharia law, exterminate minorities and burn people
alive only because their religion is different,” Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with
He said it would be “incorrect” to say the rule of Assad was rendered illegitimate by
the ongoing civil war, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives, according to the
“If he had no popular support, the war would have been over a long time ago, the
current leadership would have been wiped out, and no one knows what else would
have happened there. According to estimates made by experts from various states, a
significant number of people, up to a half of the population, see Assad as the
guarantor of their interests and their security,” Lavrov said.
Speaking about Assad’s future, Russia’s top diplomat said the Syrian president “has no
plans to leave his country. He will stay with his people and perform his duties.”
“Indeed, he [Assad] said that he does not rule out participating in next year’s
presidential election, as envisaged by Syrian law,” Lavrov said. “He will make the
decision later, depending on whether he feels he has popular support.”
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media MOSCOW—The The removal of President Bashar al-Assad from power will do nothing to end the 19-month civil war in Syria but will only escalate the violence, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
“It is like daydreaming to speculate on the subject, to the effect that if the [Syrian] government is overthrown everything will fall into place,” Lavrov said after a meeting with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
“If this is a priority for somebody, bloodshed will continue, and for quite a while, too.”
“Assad’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people,” he added.
There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict as mercenaries fighting on the side of the Syrian insurgents keep arriving in the country from neighboring states, the minister noted.
Lavrov said on Monday Moscow was disappointed by the failure of a United Nations-brokered ceasefire, but there was little sense in blaming either side.
Western powers have condemned both Russia and China for their repeated refusal to back UN sanctions against Assad’s regime, which the United Nations has accused of complicity in the massacre of unarmed civilians. Russia says the UN resolutions contain a pro-rebel bias and that both sides are to blame for the continued fighting, which Syrian rights groups say has claimed up to 35,000 lives.
Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed earlier this year not to allow a repeat of last year’s “Libya scenario,” which saw the ouster and murder of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign.
Source: RIA Novosti