MOSCOW, (SANA)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed that Russia supported the efforts of UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi to resolve the Syrian crisis and launch political dialogue since the beginning, which is the same principle adopted in the Geneva agreement, voicing concern over the escalation of violence in Syria.
In a joint press conference with Brahimi on Monday, Lavrov said his talks with the UN Envoy seek to find new steps to end violence and bloodshed in Syria and launch dialogue, regretting that Brahimi's efforts for a truce during Eid al-Adha holiday weren't heeded.
Lavrov stressed that the sending observers or peacekeeping forces to Syria must be approved by Syrian government, and that such a decision can only be taken by the Security Council and after the Syrian government agrees to it.
He also affirmed the need for the international community to support dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition, noting that there were sides that hindered the work of international observers in Syria and are currently hindering dialogue and efforts to achieve peace.
"Now we seek to carry out the Geneva agreement, and the first step is to halt violence by all sides which requires international supervision… we must work to move events in the right direction and speak in one voice, particularly foreign players," he said, noting that Russia will request reinstating the international observer mission in Syria and sending a UN fact-finding mission, which can only be done if there's a ceasefire.
Lavrov voiced hope that western and regional sides will realize that no results can be achieved without dialogue with the Syrian government, adding that his country doesn't wish to accuse anyone of the violence taking place in Syria now.
He called on all foreign forces to assume their responsibilities, specifically regarding the sides they support in Syria, stressing that the urgent issue is committing all the Syrians who are fighting each other to a ceasefire and have them initiate dialogue.
Lavrov said that sides in Syria must be pressured to send balanced signals rather than have certain sides support specific sides to perpetuate violence, stressing the need to convince these sides to commit to a ceasefire and transition to political dialogue.
"We don't know who broke the truce, but there are acts of provocation and responses we see every day," he said.
Lavrov also expressed regret that the Geneva agreement, which was approved by all international players and parties, has not been documented at the UN Security Council.
He stressed that the efforts exerted in Geneva mustn't go to waste, expressing appreciation of the efforts exerted by Ibrahimi to find a collective solution to the crisis in Syria.
For his part, Brahimi said that the bombings committed by some groups in residential areas are classified as acts of terrorism committed by groups he had no contact with, saying that such actions were condemned by the Security Council, UN Secretary-General and all foreign sides.
Brahimi said that the Syrian government announced its commitment to halting military operations within Eid al-Adha holiday and that a small number of "opposition forces" did likewise, which is why other sides are accused of violating the ceasefire.
"The result is that there was no ceasefire, and the Syria people didn't have a quiet holiday," he said, stressing that all sides must cooperate to build a new Syria.
Brahimi denied that the UN is considering sending forces to Syria, noting that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made that clear a few days ago, stressing that there are no plans to send a peacekeeping mission to Syria and at the same time noted that the UN plans for any eventuality in the future.
He warned that the situation is Syria is bad and getting worse, and that the international community must work together to help Syrians and resolve the crisis.
"Syria is a very important country, and the Syrian people deserve our support… we will continue working with all the parties inside and outside Syria to come to reducing the level of violence and later ending it and engaging in dialogue to build the new Syria," Brahimi said, concluding by stressing that the desired change in Syria is true change within a process led by the Syrians themselves with support from the international community.
H. Said / H. Sabbagh