Russian MFA Press and Information Department’s Comment on the Developments in Syria
Moscow strongly backed the League of Arab States (LAS) plan to resolve the crisis in Syria and hailed the readiness of the Syrian authorities to immediately begin to implement it. An important step in this context was the confirmation by Damascus on November 4 of the release of 553 prisoners and an amnesty to rebels who would be willing to lay down arms. Implementing these measures and other provisions of the LAS initiative provides an opportunity for constructive and meaningful political dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition in order to steer the situation towards reconciliation and reform without outside interference.
Against this background, we can’t help but be worried by reports of new acts of violence and casualties in recent days in Syria, Homs in particular. No one is going to relieve the Syrian authorities of responsibility for what is happening, whose natural duty is to ensure the safety and rights of their citizens, public safety and order. However, the opposition should also dissociate themselves from armed extremists who, using arms smuggled into Syria, provoke the authorities to retaliate, thus hoping to scuttle the LAS initiative.
Along with the gravely alarming statements that fit into this line by some Western states with one-sided event assessments and even calls for the opposition not to surrender their arms and to reject an amnesty offer by the authorities, the utterances of the Syrian opposition abroad declaring a categorical reluctance to enter into the LAS proposed dialogue with Damascus are equally disturbing. All this in no way helps to normalize the situation in the SAR and is contrary to the peace initiative of the Arab states.
In these circumstances, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has sent verbal messages to the foreign ministers of a number of countries and leaders of international organizations to support the LAS plan and to do what they can to bring coordinated pressure on all parties involved in the internal Syrian conflict in order to expeditiously achieve the realization of the LAS initiative and get the settlement process in Syria onto a peaceful political path.
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