MOSCOW, (SANA) – During a phone call on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan affirmed their support for unifying international efforts to achieve a political and diplomatic settlement to the crisis in Syria.
In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov focused during the call on Russia's initiative to hold an international conference to discuss this issue as soon as possible with the participation of all the major players outside Syria, stressing that Lavrov and Annan agreed to maintain communication between and working together to find a political solution to the issues in Syria through broad national dialogue with international support.
Earlier, Lavrov discussed with German counterpart Guido Westerwelle a number of pressing international issues, focusing on the situation in Syria and the need to unite international efforts to reach a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.
Russia Supports Iran’s Participation in International Conference on Syria
Russia supports Iran’s participation in an international conference on Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov said on Friday.
“Today we put forward an initiative for an international conference on Syria and are holding intensive consultations with possible participants in this conference,” Itar Tass Agency quoted Bogdanov as saying in an interview with the Russia Today TV channel.
He added “Primarily, this is certainly permanent members of the UN Security Council and several influential regional players, as well as the leadership of international regional markets,”
The Russian Official said :“ Russia supports Iran’s participation, because all recognize Iran’s influence on the general situation in the region, and certainly on Syrian events due to the historical ties: that country is actually situated near Syria.
Regarding the US objections over Iran’s participation in the conference, Bogdanov said, “ This issue will certainly be discussed with our US side, I mean that the United States are also having contacts in multilateral and bilateral formats on some issues, which are of mutual interest.”
" The Syrian crisis and the search for a peaceful political settlement of this crisis lay a basis, where the interests of all leading influential players coincide,” the Russian officials concluded.
Bogdanov : Russia Supports Syrian Sovereignty against Foreign Interference
Bogdanov said that his country will continue to support the Syrian sovereignty against foreign interference in the Syrian domestic affairs.
He was quoted as saying, following talks with the US State Department delegation headed by Frederick Hoff in Moscow, that ''Russia will continue to support the Syrian sovereignty against all foreign interference and attempts to impose foreign standards.''
Bogdanov added that adjusting the plan of the UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, can happen only on the basis of the international observers' and the UN Security Council's assessment, indicating that such adjustments are possible only when intended to improve the conditions for its implementation by all sides.
He indicated that the main task currently is to coordinate efforts to implement Annan's plan.
Bogdanov: Decision on Military Intervention in Syria Can't be Taken at Security Council
Bogdanov reiterated Russia's categorical rejection of military intervention in Syria.
"We categorically reject the inclinations towards military intervention in Syria," said Bogdanov in an interview with Russia Today TV, posted on its website, adding "it is necessary to do everything in our power to halt the violence and prevent foreign military intervention in the Syrian affairs.
He warned that such intervention could cause destructive repercussions on Syria and its people and the entire region in the example of what happened in Libya, stressing that a decision in this regard can not be taken at the Security Council.
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said there is no alternative to the plan of the UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, that is meant to solve the crisis in it, which necessitates focusing efforts to implement the plan and the Security Council resolutions 2042 and 2043 that were unanimously endorsed.
He considered it regrettable that some representatives of the Syrian opposition, particularly the gunmen, have stated that they do not intend to abide by the commitments to implement Annan's plan, adding that this was expected from these parties.
He added that these parties have been saying from the very beginning that the international envoy's plan was doomed to failure and have done their best to foil its implementation.
Bogdanov pointed out that Moscow is currently making intensive contacts inside the United Nations and with its partners in the Security Council and the region's countries to make an assessment of the situation once again and put efforts to implement the six points of Annan's plan.
He added that Russia is also working with the Syrian government and the parties in the opposition who have adopted a constructive stance in order to bring the Syrians together at the negotiating table in the framework of the broad national dialogue to help them reach a common solution stemming from the interests of the Syrian people.
Asked on the prospects of Russia reaching agreement with the Western countries about Syria's future, Bogdanov said there are not many contradictions as they have the basis which has been agreed upon represented in the two Security Council resolutions and the final document of the recently-held Camp David summit, adding that the other thing is the tactics and course of actual operations.
He referred to the Russian initiative on holding an international conference about Syria including the Security Council permanent members and a number of influential regional players and international and regional organizations.
Russian Foreign Ministry: Deep Exchange of Visions during Russian-US Meeting on Syria
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov discussed during their meeting in Moscow with the US State official Frederick Hoff the Russian proposal for holding an international conference on Syria.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that ''There was a deep exchange of visions on ways of helping a peaceful settlement to the crisis in Syria during the meeting, with focus on garnering international backing for the UN envoy plan by all sides,'' adding that the Russian initiative for holding an international conference on Syria as soon as possible was also discussed.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed earlier organizing a meeting as soon as possible under the auspices of the United Nations for representatives of the countries with influence over the opposition groups in Syria.
Gatilov: Use of Force against Syria will Only Complicate the Situation
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia is convinced that adopting a UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter will only complicate the situation further, calling for unifying efforts to put the Syrian crisis on the track of political settlement according to the plan of the UN envoy, Kofi Annan.
Gatilov called for synchronizing the efforts of the countries which have an influence over all parties in Syria to push for political settlement according to Annan's plan, stressing that imposing restrictive or forceful measures will only complicate an already difficult situation.
''We hold that there is no need to exert further pressure or impose sanctions or threats to use force for the time being,'' said Gatilov.
Commenting on Annan's statement on his talks for creating a contact group on Syria, Gatilov said that Annan's proposals don't contradict with the Russian initiative to organize an international conference on Syria.
Gatilov stressed the importance of coordinating efforts to put the crisis in Syria on the track of political settlement, underlining the necessity that outside players who have influence over all Syrian parties push them for a full implementation of Annan's plan.
Gatilov expressed Russia's willingness to hold talks with Annan and the parties concerned to hold a meeting on Syria, stressing the importance of defining the participants in the meeting.
Gatilov said Iran has the right to be represented in the conference on Syria, adding that Iran's participation might play a positive role in finding an exit from the crisis due to its regional role and exceptional relations with Syria.