US, EU draft resolution on Syria not objective, Russia offers its own — Churkin

MOSCOW, August 29 (Itar-Tass) —— The draft resolution on Syria presented by the United States and the European Union is “absolutely unobjective”, Russian Permanent Representative to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin said.

“The draft is absolutely unobjective and envisions pressure only on the Syrian leadership,” Churkin said in an interview with Russia Today television on Monday, August 29.

“It has no mention of the need for political dialogue and I does not urge the opposition to begin a dialogue with the authorities,” he said.

“Moreover, we are afraid that this resolution, on the contrary, can push the most radicalised forces of the Syrian opposition to more action to topple the government. This is why we categorically reject the goals our Western colleagues are trying to push through with the help of this resolution and make an alternative proposal,” Churkin said.

“We agree that the Security Council should not stay aside, but we think that it should act in a positive manner,” he added.

Churkin said that the Russian version of the resolution is ready. “The test has been finalised and can be put to vote already tomorrow,” he said.

President Dmitry Medvedev sent a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier in the day, urging the authorities and the opposition to stop violence and start declared reforms in the country.

“In the course of the conversation, while discussing the situation in Syria, the Russian side placed the main emphasis on the need for an urgent and full stop to violence on either side, and for immediate concrete steps to carry out the reforms declared by the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the presidential press service said.

“It was also stressed that the opposition should not avoid the dialogue proposed by the authorities because this is the only way to restore civil peace and accord and Syria’ s movement along the road of democratic reforms,” it said.

The message was delivered in Damascus by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier urged all sides in Syria to refrain from violence and continue to look for fair and lawful solutions to burning problems.

Moscow “is worried by growing tensions and confrontation leading to the suffering of innocent people”, the ministry said.

“It is necessary for the government and all public, political and confessional forces in friendly Syria to exclude violence and continue the search for fair solutions to burning problems within the law and on the basis of civil consensus,” it said.

“We firmly believe that only a constructive dialogue, acceleration of large-scale political reforms and transformations in the socio-economic life mapped out by the leadership of Syria can ensure stable and democratic development of the country in the interests of all Syrian citizens,” the statement posted on the ministry’s website said.

Damascus highly appreciates Russia’s position on events in Syria, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mikdad said earlier.

“We thank the leadership, the government and the people of Russia and many Russian media for their position on the current events in Syria,” he told Russia Today television on August 24.

“Syria is becoming a democratic country with a multi-party system, a country that respects human rights. Protection of people’s interests is one of the elements of the Syrian policy strategy,” the diplomat said.

According to al-Mikdad, President Bashar al-Assad “favours a political solution to the problems facing Syria”.

He stressed, “Syria really stands up to armed groups, terror and extremism”.

“I am convinced that Syria and the Russian Federation and the whole world should fight terrorism,” he said.


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