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PRESS RELEASE


Lavrov Calls for
End to Ultimata against Syria

Nov. 29, 2011 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called today for an end to using ultimata with Syria. Speaking during a press conference, at the conclusion of his discussions with Iceland's Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson in Moscow today, Lavrov said "It is important now to stop using ultimata with Syria, as the Syrian issue can't be solved through the ultimata resorted to by some countries, including the members of the Arab League (AL).

"We hope that our friends at the AL, with whom we have strategic relations, will adhere to the rules of the AL in order to take the suitable decisions and that they will shoulder responsibility towards what is taking place in their region and will take into consideration the interests of their people and the interests of the stability, security and cooperation."

Lavrov also said that an arms embargo against the government was unfair, stressing that armed groups were attacking the Syrian government with support from the outside. "We know how that worked in Libya when the arms embargo only applied to the Libyan army. The opposition received weapons, and countries like France and Qatar publicly spoke about it without shame," he said. "For the most part, armed groups are provoking the authorities. To expect the authorities to close their eyes to this is not right. All the countries who have an influence on these groups in Syria should exert more efforts to force them to stop violence."

Lavrov contrasted the policy of the Gulf Cooperation Council toward Yemen, and the policy that the same countries are applying to Syria. "All these countries, including those who are now demanding measures to be undertaken against Syria, had a very different stance toward Yemen, where negotiations about a peaceful solution, proposed by the Cooperation Council for the States of the Gulf, lasted for months." In Yemen, the top Russian official continued, the peace plan was signed after a display of patience and perseverance, and after equal pressure was exerted on all partners. "Such an approach is also need for the Syrian problem, because ultimata issued by some states, especially the Arab League, won't solve the problem."

He also stressed that the UN commission report which says that the Syrian authorities have perpetrated crimes against humanity, is not considered an official viewpoint of the UN and only reflects the opinion of the representatives of the UN Secretariat, indicating that the UN stances are announced by its official bodies, particularly the Security Council and the General Assembly.