Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will travel to Cairo on March 10 to meet his counterparts from the Arab League and discuss ways of resolving the Syrian conflict peacefully.
Recently, the Syria issue has been at the top of the League’s agenda. The League’s observers visited the country and the conflict was discussed at numerous round tables and summits. On March 6, ex-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will discuss the situation with the Arab League leaders as in his capacity of a UN envoy to Damascus. Later, he will be joined by Sergey Lavrov who has already voiced Russia’s stance on the issue at a press-conference with his Jordan counterpart Nasser Judeh in Moscow.
"We agree that Syria’s government should be urged to stop violence across the country but the opposition should do the same. Otherwise, it would be unrealistic to expect the violence to stop if one party stops the violence while the other continues."
Not all the countries’ position is so humane. Rep. Senator and ex-presidential candidate John McCain urged Washington to launch an international military operation against Assad’s regime. But, that’s America’s private opinion Europe is also trying to aggravate tension around Syria.
The West should cooperate with Russia to solve the conflict instead of urging it to put pressure on Assad, Lavrov believes
"We shouldn’t expect wonders; we should sit down and talk about a common policy that would make all the parties to the conflict seek ceasefire and engage in a dialogue about the country’s future."
The Minister says that Russia’s draft resolution on Syria based on the Arab League November initiative had exactly the same objectives. Moscow intends to remind the Security Council about the document and to follow Annan’s and the Arab League joint mission in Damascus.
"We’ll render any support needed for their mission as well as for the humanitarian mission of the UN’s Deputy Secretary General Valerie Amos. We closely work with the Red Cross which is doing a great job in Syria. Recently, Russia decided to donate 1 mln Swiss francs to the Red Cross in Syria."
Thus, the Cairo meeting is a great opportunity to look at the situation from all angles, Lavrov says
"The global community needs to decide on the tactics it should employ in Syria. In this respect, the forthcoming meeting can bring effective results which can be later promoted in a broader international context."
Meanwhile, Moscow has considered a US draft resolution on Syria and found that it was a slightly updated version of the previous document which had been vetoed by the US and China in February. Russia believes that the resolution should be more balanced.