Syria Opposition Lobbies Russia for Support

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Syria's opposition leaders said they expected more support from Russia on Friday after President Dmitry Medvedev accused some of those protesting against Bashar Assad of being "terrorists".

The Russian upper house of parliament's foreign affairs chief Mikhail Margelov met a visiting Syrian delegation that included National Organization for Human Rights in Syria head Ammar Qurabi.

Russia has refused to back Western sanctions against its regional ally and Medvedev told Euronews on the eve of the visit that some members of the opposition "could even be described as terrorists".

Qurabi did not address the comments directly but said after his talks with Margelov that he expected Moscow to play a more "positive" role.

"Russia should be playing a more active and positive role in regulating the political situation in Syria," Qurabi told reporters.

Qurabi said his primary purpose in Moscow was "to tell the Russian media about what is happening in Syria so they could help us and put pressure on the Russian leadership."

Medvedev argues that the West takes a biased approach to Syria and refuses to put pressure on the opposition to give up their street protests and engage in direct talks.

Russia has also slammed this month's EU embargo on Syrian oil and vowed to continue selling arms to Assad.

Margelov said he will meet Assad's top adviser Buthaina Shaaban in Moscow on Monday and seek authorization from Syria to send a delegation of Russian senators to Tripoli to check on the situation on the ground.

Russia has expressed repeated worries that a U.N. sanctions resolution on Syria could lead to a military offensive similar to the one in Libya -- a campaign it opposed but did not block at the Security Council.

"Russia will do everything possible to make sure that that the situation in Syria did not follow the Syria scenario," Margelov said.

Comments 3
Default-user-icon Nazaret (Guest) 09 September 2011, 13:50

There is mistake in your text, Russia will not seek authorization from Shaaban to send delegation to TRIPOLI, but to DAMASCUS. These stupid article shows how limited in mind becare you Naharnet that you just copy of and paste another nonsence creator - Agence France Presse:))

Default-user-icon The Maxx (Guest) 09 September 2011, 15:13

"Russia will do everything possible to make sure that that the situation in Syria did not follow the Syria scenario." Once again, you meant not follow the LYBIA scenario. You know, you can hire proofreaders for as little as 8$ an hour. Quit being such Jews and invest in the very simple lingual integrity of your articles, please.

Thumb nade 09 September 2011, 15:25

another error in addition to the Tripoli instead of Demascus error.

"Russia will do everything possible to make sure that that the situation in Syria did not follow the Syria scenario," Margelov said.

you mean the Libya Scenario?