MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday reiterated his country's rejection of having the situation in Syria inflamed by some parties because of the rejection of dialogue and the one-sided stances.
"It's important not to pour oil on the fire through the one-sided actions and steps or the emotional statements and through the direct instigation of the use of force by the opposition and its rejection of dialogue with the government," Lavrov told a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshiyar Zibari.
Lavrov said Russia and Iraq share common stance to reach stability in the region, calling on all parties in Syria to show self-restraint and enter into comprehensive dialogue without any interference from the outside, considering the plan of the UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, as the suitable way to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people for the better and for sustainable democratic development.
"For that purpose, we discussed the Russian initiative about convening an international conference on Syria with the participation of Iraq as it aims at bringing all parties in the region together to coordinate unified practical moves and encourage all parties to sit around the negotiating table," added Lavrov, underlining Iraq's important role and contribution to stabilizing the situation in Syria.
He said he has not heard of any serious U.S. will to use force against Syria outside the Security Council, stressing that the UNSC will not agree on regime change in any country in the world by force, and that Russia "will not allow such thing to happen".
He pointed out that Moscow is proceeding with its consultations with all the countries which Russia considers it important to participate with in the international conference on Syria and regarding Annan's proposal on establishing a so-called 'contact group' on Syria, which, he said, is in line with the Russian initiative.
Lavrov described the situation in the region as difficult, which will make it difficult to arrange all things for the conference, adding that what concerns Russia is two issues: the first one is that of participation.
He stressed on the participation of all the foreign sides concerned, including the UNSC five permanent members and all the neighboring countries to Syria (Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon), in addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and the European Union.
"We want to the situation in Syria to move to the political track and to solve the problem politically as soon as possible instead of instigating confrontation," Lavrov added.
He added that the second important issue for Russia regarding the international conference on Syria is its content, stressing focus on discussing common ways to encourage the Syrian parties to sit around the negotiating table and discuss all urgent issues between the opposition and the government according to Annan's plan.
Lavrov reiterated that Russia considers that the Syrians alone are able to determine their destiny by themselves without any dictates or interferences from the outside.
He dismissed U.S. statements as reported by the media on the part of the U.S. Secretary State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, that Russian-U.S. talks are going on about political transformations in Syria after President Bashar al-Assad stepped down as untrue.
"We reject having such deliberations, and we are also against any interferences and dictates in the Syrian internal affairs as we don't impose on the Syrians solutions to their internal problems," said Lavrov.
He also denied statements by the Russian Foreign Ministry about similar talks between Russia and France, stressing that regarding overthrowing a regime in any country, Moscow "doesn'tt have such deliberations and doesn't take part in regime change whatever through unilateral steps or participation in any such ventures."
Asked on the initiative to hold a conference on Syria at the end of June in Geneva, Lavrov made clear that the proposal was made by Annan, expressing Russia's readiness for political deliberations about it on condition of commitment to two principles; the first is on arranging suitable participation.
The second principle, added Lavrov, is that "all the foreign parties concerned in Syria use all of their capabilities to encourage the Syrian sides into holding dialogue and launching the political process inside Syria and not to suggest solutions, which is not the Russia-Annan principle," stressing that the Russian principle is aimed at achieving success and realizing the aspirations of the Syrian people.
For his part, the Iraqi Foreign Minister expressedIraq's support to "the peoples' freedom of self-determination and political options and stands with political transmission in a disciplined way that leads to prosperity and stability for the people and the Syrian state."
Zibari added that Iraq is highly interested in what is happening in Syria being its neighbor and sharing with it close social, economic and historical relations and more than a 600 km borderline, in addition to the thousands of Iraqis living in Syria, stressing that what is going on in Syria affects the situation in Iraq and the other neighboring countries.
He stressed that any international meeting on Syria should include the participation of the countries concerned in the Syrian issue particularly the neighboring countries, adding that marginalizing these countries is unacceptable under whatever pretext.
The Iraqi minister emphasized the necessity of exerting pressure on all the parties to abide by Annan's plan.
Lavrov: Russia Concerned Over Attempts to Foil Annan's Plan
Lavrov said Russia is concerned over some parties' attempts to foil the plan of the UN envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, adding that Moscow is working with Damascus to implement the plan.
In an interview published by "Huffington Post" on Friday, Lavrov said that part of these attempts are calls for foreign military intervention made by the Istanbul Council.
''We support unifying the Syrian opposition on the basis of preparing for political dialogue with the government in accordance with Annan's plan,'' Lavrov said, adding that if all sides work in a manner similar to Russia's approach to the Syrian crisis, then the chance of achieving a peaceful resolution will be present.
The Russian minister saw that the parties involved in the Syrian crisis must be pressured into ending violence and coming to dialogue, adding ''It is important to exert collective efforts to that end and hold an international conference that brings together the countries concerned so as to save the Middle East from wars and be on the right side of history.''
''Other plans that imply foreign interference, starting from blocking broadcast of certain TV channels, increasing arms supplies to the opposition or launching air strikes, won't bring peace to this particular country or to the region,'' Lavrov said, affirming that history will not be kind towards such plans.
He stressed that the role of outside players must be limited to help Syria and guaranteeing political reform through development, gradual steps and national dialogue, and not by force, noting that unilateral support for the opposition doesn't lead to peace and contradicts the mission of protecting peaceful civilians.
Lavrov said that any authorization made by the UN must be very clear, leaving no chance for multiple interpretations, adding that there's more than one reason to take a balanced stance regarding the Syrian crisis and that it's not possible to go for imprecise Security Council resolutions that give those implementing it free rein as was the case in Libya.
He stressed the importance of understanding what is actually happening in Syria and how the country could be helped to surpass this difficult stage in its history, saying that the situation in Syria lacks objective, professional and honest analysis of what is happening, what could happening and the possible ramifications; rather the analysis is replaced by clichés and propaganda.
Lavrov suggested pointing out the true enemies of peaceful reosluition in Syria directly, stressing the need to settle the situation without taking sides through an impartial mechanism.
He also noted that the NATO operations that resulted from the international resolutions on Libya resulted in severe violations and harmed the reputation of the Security Council, stressing that the use of force to overcome conflicts has no future as proven by Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the deteriorating situation in Libya and Mali.
Lavrov and Amos Affirm Need to Implement Humanitarian Plan in Syria
Also on Friday, Lavrov discussed with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos the humanitarian aspects of the situation in Syria.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov and Amos affirmed during their meeting in Moscow the need to implement the humanitarian work plan which was devised in coordination with Damascus to resolve citizens' issues in Syria.
Lavrov briefed Amos on the humanitarian relief provided by Russia to Syria.
On a relevant note, Lavrov discussed during a phone call with Canadian counterpart John Baird the situation in Syria and Iran's nuclear program.