Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

August 23, 2012 (TSR) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday criticized Western countries for doing nothing but stirring up armed conflicts in Syria.

“Our western partners still have done nothing to influence the (Syrian) opposition and to encourage it for dialogue with the government. Instead, they are engaged in open incitement (of the opposition) of chaos to continue the armed struggle,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Such “self-righteous” approach would not facilitate a settlement by political means, the ministry said, adding that Russia was well aware of what to do to resolve the crisis.

“Yes, we know what to do, because in the Geneva communiqué of the Action Group on Syria, all members accepted the responsibility to work with both the Syrian government and the opposition to start a process of national reconciliation as soon as possible,” the ministry said.

Russia is constantly working with the Syrian government and the opposition to stop the violence, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Moscow slammed the West for its reluctance to call on all sides in Syria to start a dialogue.

“Instead, they (with USA leading) try to distort the essence of the Geneva agreements by calling them obsolete. This happens on a background of accusation against Russia of undermining the UN Security Council efforts to settle the Syrian crisis,” the statement said.

Lavrov: Implementing Geneva Agreement, which is the Syrian-led, Is the Only Way to Settle Crisis

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated on Tuesday his country’s readiness to support any decision that will be taken by the Syrian people in the framework a national comprehensive dialogue.

“The international community with all its members, particularly those who have direct influence on the situation in Syria, should help the Syrian sides reach dialogue and national reconciliation as this is the only way to stop violence and bloodshed,” Lavrov said to SANA correspondent in Moscow following the meeting with the Syrian delegation.

He described the talks with Jamil and Haidar as very useful, saying “undoubtedly, the general approach taken by the Syrian leadership was the only correct approach in spite of some delay in work and a number of mistakes.”

Lavrov added that his talks with the Syrian delegation who dealt with the tangible issues of contacts between the Syrian government, the National Reconciliation Ministry from one side and the opposition from the other, particularly the latest initiative proposed by “the National Coordination Board.”

“We saw that our Syrian friends, the representatives of the government, were ready for what the initiative required to put an end to the violence and bloodshed, then comes the issues of detainees, refugees and the humanitarian aid as well as the immediate start of dialogue between the government and the Syrian opposition groups,” Lavrov said.

Minister Lavrov stressed during his meeting with the Syrian government delegation that commitment to and implementation of the Geneva agreement on the situation in Syria as the only way to settle the crisis in it, which Russia supports until now.

Quoted by Russia Today website, Lavrov expressed interest in listening to the delegation’s assessment of the current situation and plans for the next steps in the near future to help take the situation quicker on track towards peaceful political dialogue so the Syrians can determine their destiny by themselves without foreign interference.

“We are committed to the Geneva agreement which was developed and explained in details via Annan’s plan, and we are certain that it is the fastest way towards halting the violence and saving the lives of many,” said Lavrov.

He added that this requires a political will on the part of the Syrian government and the parties of the opposition without exception.

“Of course, if this was related to the economy or the humanitarian situation, then all of this has to do with the necessity of implementing the agreements reached and which were agreed on by the Syrian government on June 30 regarding halting the acts of violence and entering into dialogue with the opposition’s groups about the details of the transitional stage,” said Lavrov.



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