Alwaght- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slammed Saudi Arabia position over the fate of the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as a ruler of the war-torn country.
During a fresh round of peace talks on Saturday in Vienna aimed at finding a solution to the five-year crisis in Syria, Lavrov stressed that the Syrians are the only side who decide Assad’s fate.
“Is Saudi Arabia authorized to decide who will represent the Syrian people?” Lavrov addressed Saudi FM, Adel al-Jubeir who is attending the talks in the Austrian capital.
“You can refer to the text of the last meeting…. Syrians are who decide the fate of their country, including Assad’s fate,” Lavrov added, according to our correspondent.
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has told reporters that the meeting is important but that he does not expect breakthroughs.
“Breakthrough is a big word. What we are definitely looking forward to keeping the momentum and progress,” he has said.
World and regional powers will discuss the Syrian peace process in Vienna on Saturday, as the world struggles to cope with the terrorist attacks in Paris. ISIS terrorist group, one of the key players in the Syrian conflict, claims responsibility for the crime.
“Without a doubt, what happened in Paris last night, cannot fail to affect the present atmosphere, and the negotiation process,” Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said.
Western nations and their Arab allies especially the Saudi regime have been insisting that Assad has lost legitimacy in Syria, but lately agreed that he may play a part in a transition. The US has tried to train the so called moderate terrorist groups hoping they would fight against terrorist groups such as ISIS and government forces, although so far the effort has proved fruitless.
Russia and Iran have been supporting the Syrian government, saying it’s the only regional force that has a chance to defeat the terrorists. Iran has been providing military advisers, while Russia has deployed warplanes and launched a bombing campaign to back the Syrian Army’s operations against the terrorists.
The Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people and left over one million injured, according to the UN.