Friday, February 15, 2013

Sergei Lavrov urges the opposition to abandon preconditions for talks with the Assad government

    Friday, February 15, 2013   No comments

Russia's foreign minister has dismissed the Syrian opposition as offering nothing constructive since the uprising began.

In an hour-long interview with the German broadcaster ARD, Sergei Lavrov urged the opposition to abandon preconditions for talks with the Assad government.

The price for insisting on the removal of Assad before talks begin, will be more violence, he said.

Lavrov conceded that the reforms offered by Assad were too little, too late, and that the Syrian president was not “really getting in line with events”.

But he claimed Assad was offering a form of dialogue which the opposition should seize.

The opposition is not offering any political alternative. The only thing which is uniting the opposition is toppling the regime ... In almost two years [the opposition] never produced any constructive platform.

Lavrov insisted that last June's Geneva agreement, which does not explicitly call for Assad to go, should be the basis for a settlement.

Isr Ed

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