US position on Syria directly endorses terrorism - Lavrov
“This is direct endorsement of terrorism. How are we supposed to understand that?” Sergey Lavrov shared his astonishment at a press conference in Moscow. “This is a sinister position, I cannot find words to express our attitude towards that.”
Lavrov also expressed his surprise that the UN Security Council refused to condemn acts of terror in Syria. The US permanent representative to the UN Susan Rice has stated that terror acts in Damascus contribute to speeding up the adoption of a resolution on Syria according to the Chapter 7 of the UN Statute, which implies harsh sanctions, including resorting to force.
“In other words this means ‘We are going to support such acts of terrorism until the UNSC does what we want’,” Lavrov commented on the US representative's actions.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said recently that there should be closer work with opposition in Syria as it captures more and more territories to prepare new actions of resistance to the government in Damascus.
Lavrov noted that there were reports that the opposition has taken control over border posts on the Iraqi and Turkish border with Syria and reportedly, there were cases of looting of Turkish property. According to some sources it was not Free Syrian Army militants that captured those posts, but by groups linked to Al-Qaeda, and Russian diplomats are verifying this information.
“If such actions of taking territories by terrorists are supported by our partners, we would like to ask them what their position on Syria is. What do they want to achieve in this country?” Russian FM demanded.
As for the EU unilateral sanctions against Damascus, they contradict the decisions taken by the UN Security Council and agreements reached at the Geneva talks, stated Lavrov.
“We believe the chosen unilateral way contradicts the principal of shared management of affairs accorded with the Geneva agreement,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia advocates collective discussion of any questions.
“Unfortunately, when the EU, US and some other states began to adopt sanctions on Syria they did not consult with us at all,” Lavrov observed.
Now that the Syrian crisis is over a year and a half old it is not exactly correct to appeal to the Security Council to adopt sanctions, shared the Russian diplomat.
Lavrov stressed that should the international community intended to address the Syrian crisis collectively – it should have been done that way from the very beginning, dealing with both combatant sides equally.
The heads of the EU foreign ministries have made a decision to broaden the list of Syrian officials banned from EU, also freezing their bank accounts and assets in EU countries.
Additional measures have also been adopted to ensure arms embargo on Syria. Henceforth, sea vessels and cargo aircraft heading for Syria are subject to compulsory inspection in case there are grounds to suspect they carry arms and prohibited equipment to Syria.