Western media outlets are not reporting the true situation in Syria, the head of a delegation of Russian lawmakers said on Wednesday.
The delegation of senators, chaired by Federation Council Deputy Chairman Ilyas Umakhanov, paid a two-day visit to Syria at the weekend. The delegation met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as with leaders of the opposition.
“We are convinced that a host of Western TV channels have distorted what is really happening there,” Umakhanov said. “People are calmly walking along the streets, shops are open, and children are going to school.”
He also suggested it was an oversimplification to suggest that Syria was split between the “repressive” authorities and the opposition.
Umakhanov also said that Assad had invited Russian journalists and their foreign colleagues working in Russia to visit Syria and asses the situation for themselves.
Moscow favors a political solution to the six-month confrontation between the Syrian authorities and the opposition, while the United States and the European Union have called on President Bashar Al-Assad to quit.
The UN says at least 2,200 people have been killed in a crackdown on opposition protests since the start of the unrest in March.