Russia U.N. Envoy Denies Threatening Qatar PM at U.N.إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Russia's U.N. ambassador on Tuesday slammed efforts to "poison" relations between his country and the Arab world after Russia's veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution on the Syria crisis.
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin made the comments as he strongly rejected Arab internet reports that he had threatened the prime minister of Qatar during talks at the United Nations last week on Syria.
"Apparently somebody is trying very hard to drive a wedge between Russia and the Arab world," Churkin told a press conference at the U.N. headquarters.
He said Russia was concerned that the reports will be used "artificially, to try to poison our relations with the Arab world. So the record must be set straight on this."
Russia and China on Saturday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution proposed by Arab and European nations which aimed to support an Arab League plan to end the Syria crisis. Russia has been strongly criticized by western and some Arab leaders for the second veto on Syria in four months.
Unsourced reports of Churkin's encounter with Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani last week circulated on Arab websites. They said that Churkin had threatened Qatar.
Churkin said the Russian mission had been "inundated" with calls about the reports. "It is just dishonest and dirty and provocative of course," he said of the reports.
The Russian envoy said the "very exaggerated, emotional, sometimes rude reaction" of western ambassadors to the Russian veto was another sign of efforts to cause trouble between Russia and the Arab world.
"They may have their purposes in mind. But I think the side effect, or maybe purpose of some of those reactions, is to create some hostility toward Russia in the Arab world and that of course is not appreciated," Churkin said.