Syrian government ready to withdraw together with opposition – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov)
Syrian authorities are ready to withdraw their forces if this happens simultaneously with the withdrawal of the opposition, said Russia`s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov citing his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem.

“Government forces and the armed opposition have to simultaneously withdraw from the cities under the control of international observers. The Syrian government is ready for that,” Lavrov told the press after meeting the Syrian Foreign Minister at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Lavrov has also urged Damascus to follow the peace plan proposed by UN envoy Kofi Annan, saying that Syrian authorities have already done a lot to implement the plan, but have to do even more.

Speaking about the recent US calls to leave President Assad`s fate in the hands of the Syrian people, Lavrov called the proposal unrealistic.Washington has recently said that after Assad`s resignation he has to be left in the hands of Syrians and the US is not going to interfere.

According to Lavrov giving Assad away to mob law would be “absolutely politically unrealistic” without being moralistic. It is especially strange that such statement comes from usually very pragmatic US authorities, the minister said.

Meanwhile, Kofi Annan is looking forward to a meeting with ministers to discuss what measures can be taken for the implementation of the plan and what other action can be taken.

“The longer we wait the darker Syria's future becomes … the time to act is now," Annan announced at a press briefing on Friday.

The envoy also said that Iran should be part of the solution in Syria declining calls from some nations to exclude Iran from negotiations.