‘Russia can’t find common ground with those demonizing Syrian govt’

Damaged ancient architectures are seen in Palmyra of central Syria, on April 1, 2016 [Xinhua]

Damaged ancient architectures are seen in Palmyra in central Syria, on April 1, 2016 [Xinhua]

Russia has criticised demands for Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to step down saying this restricts perspectives for political settlement in the war-torn country.

Russia will “never find common ground” with Washington and others who are forwarding Syrian settlement under the motto ‘Assad must resign”, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Monday.

The issue should be decided later by the sides involved in the Syrian conflict, Ryabkov added.

“We will never find common ground on the matter not only because it contradicts our entire foreign policy doctrine, under which regime change, ‘color revolutions’ and social engineering from the outside are unacceptable, but also simply because such a condition leaves no future for any political process,” Ryabkov told Russian agency Ria Novosti.

A fragile peace pact has held in Syria for over a month as opposing parties to the conflict try to negotiate an end to Syria’s civil war.

Moscow says Washington’s rejection of Damascus as “a legitimate partner” creates problems.

“Like in many cases before Palmyra [liberation] we feel that Washington’s approach depends upon certain priorities and preferences,” Ryabkov said.

“That is why, unfortunately, our Western colleagues, and not only Western, are so obsessed with Bashar Assad and the demonization of the Syrian government that … they fail to comply with the requirements of corresponding UNSC resolutions to the full extent,” he added.

Syrian and allied forces backed by Russian air strikes drove Islamic State militants out of the town of al-Qaryatain, near the ancient city of Palmyra, on Sunday, Syrian military said.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been trying to retake al-Qaryatain and other pockets of the Daesh (Islamic State) control to reduce the terrorist group’s ability to project military power into the heavily populated western region of Syria.

Islamic State militants have retreated from Palmyra after an offensive by the Syrian military and Russian air strikes.


TBP and Agencies

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