MOSCOW, (SANA) - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the armed Syrian opposition and the countries which support it try to foil the plan of the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Lavrov said the goal of the armed opposition and the countries which provide it with money and arms is so clear for Moscow, which is to foil Annan's peace plan.
"All this is taking place in flagrant violation of the UN resolutions which have fully and completely approved this plan that includes demands of immediate halt of violence not only by the Syrian government but also by all opposition groups, particularly the armed opposition," Lavrov added.
He pointed out that Russia has repeatedly called upon the Syrian leadership to implement Annan's plan, criticizing that there are parties which demand implementation by Syria alone.
The Russian Foreign Minister wondered how those parties "are waiting for the Syrian government to carry out this plan unconditionally, while they not only don't suppress the opposition or call upon it to comply with the plan, but actually incite it to continue armed provocations."
He stressed that the attempts to stoke the armed conflict in Syria are also considered breaches of the UN resolutions.
He said that all those who are doing that should say honestly if they are ready to sincerely and without any double-dealing help in ending the violence and starting inter-Syrian dialogue involving the government and all opposition groups, according to the plan supported by the UN Security Council and the entire international community.
"Or do some members of the international community have a hidden agenda and want a change of regime?" wondered Lavrov.
Bogdanov: Opposition in Syria Evading Implementation of Annan's Plans
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that any issue related to resolving the crisis in issue can be discussed through comprehensive national dialogue among Syrians.
In an interview with VIP-Premier magazine, Bogdanov said that Russia supports the continuation of the work of UN special envoy Kofi Annan as a mediator to resolve the crisis in Syria, stressing the importance of Annan's mission, noting that Annan is reporting to the Security Council on the situation periodically, adding Annan rep[orts to the international community, not to the so-called "friends of Syria" group.
He stressed that Syria's agreement to Annan's plan opened a new opportunity to resolve the crisis, especially since it fulfilled its commitment to withdraw forces from residential areas as per the timeframe agreed upon with Annan.
Bogdanov said that the opposition, including the Istanbul Council, are evading the implementation of Annan's plan, and that Moscow urges countries who have influence over the armed opposition to make strong demands to avoid provocations and abide by the ceasefire declared on April 12.
He said that Russia will proceed from the fact that Kofi Annan will continue his work as the sole mediator in the Syrian settlement who has the authority granted by the Security Council.
Bogdanov said that Annan's team are working in Damascus, and that this team is objective and professional, noting that there have been positive changes since the arrival of the observers to Syria, with a decrease in violence which was noted in Annan's recent reports to the Security Council.
He concluded by stating that Russia hopes that during these three months the necessary conditions will be created for launching an inclusive dialogue on the broadest political basis possible with the aim of stabilizing the situation in Syria and resolving urgent issues of the national agenda in accordance with the free choice of the Syrian citizens.
Zasypkin: Russia Interested in Exerting All Efforts to Reach Political Settlement to Crisis in Syria
The Russian Ambassador in Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin affirmed that his country is interested in exerting all possible efforts to reach a political settlement to the crisis in Syria.
In an interview with Lebanon's OTV channel, Zasypkin said that there are forces seeking to destabilize Lebanon after they failed to achieve their plans in Syria, and that those who are escalating the situation in Lebanon are terrorists, and that he doesn't which to single out a specific country, side or force involved in this escalation.
He also voiced Russia's appreciation of the steps taken by the Lebanese army on the Syrian-Lebanese borders to prevent the smuggling of weapons and individuals.
R. Raslan/ H. Said / H. Sabbagh