US unable to bring Syria opp. to Geneva confab: Russia

Russia has sharply criticized the US for its inability to bring the Syria opposition to the Geneva 2 conference on the ongoing crisis in Syria.

“It is strange to hear repeated statements by some US State Department officials that we are moving towards Geneva 2, but it’s important that Russia puts pressure on Damascus. They are shifting the blame. We are actually putting pressure on Damascus, and it really works” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Russia Today as saying on Monday.

Lavrov made the comments a day after George Sabra, the president of the Syrian National Council, a key group within the so-called Syrian National Coalition, said the group had decided to shun the proposed talks in Geneva, and would withdraw from the coalition if it takes part in the conference.

The Russian foreign minister added that the major obstacle to holding the conference is the inability of Russia’s partners “to force the Syrian opposition whom they are supporting, to come to Geneva and sit down at the negotiating table with the government in order to find ways out of this crisis by general consent.”

Lavrov also noted that the statement of Sabra is “another confirmation of the need to hold this conference as soon as possible.”

Russia and the United States have been pushing to bring the Syrian government and the opposition to the negotiating table.

The Geneva 2 conference is seen as a chance to find a political solution to Syria crisis. The event has been delayed for months, but Moscow and Washington are now trying to fix a date for it in mid-November.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. Reports indicate that the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.

By Press TV


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