Lavrov Tells UN That Backing Syrian Rebels Deepens Strife
September 29, 2012
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized countries that are backing opposition groups fighting to overthrow Syria's leader Bashar al-Assad, saying that was pushing the country "even deeper into the abyss of bloody internecine strife."
Lavrov told the UN General Assembly on September 28 that the violence in Syria must end through a comprehensive cease-fire, release of prisoners, and humanitarian aid.
“This will create conditions to start an inter-Syrian dialogue," he added.
Lavrov insisted the Geneva accords adopted in June, which do not call for Assad to step down, should be the basis of any transition plan.
Moscow has been accused of thwarting efforts to halt the 18-month conflict in Syria by using its veto at the UN Security Council to block resolutions targeting the Assad regime.
Rights groups say more than 30,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the revolt against Assad regime in March last year.
In his address to the UN General Assembly on September 28, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu criticized the Security Council for its stalemate over the Syrian conflict.
Davutoglu said the UN body's inability to take action "encourages the Syrian regime to kill ever more people.”
At a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in New York on September 28, the United States pledged $45 million in new aid to Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced an extra $30 million to help get supplies and medical services to "the people suffering under the relentless assaults."
She also unveiled an extra $15 million “to support Syrian civilian opposition groups" with 1,100 sets of communications equipment and training for more than 1,000 activists.
Britain said it was pumping another $13 million into the humanitarian fund for Syria.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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