Lavrov Says Denying Iran a Role in Syria Talks 'Thoughtless'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Russia will not approve the use of force against the Syrian regime at the United Nations, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday at a briefing in Moscow.
"We will not sanction the use of force at the United Nations Security Council," Lavrov said in televised remarks as he gave a briefing on Russia's proposal for an international conference on Syria.
He acknowledged that U.N.-Arab envoy Kofi Annan's tattered peace plan for Syria was stalling but stressed the Kremlin saw no alternative to it.
"The settlement plan has begun to seriously falter," Lavrov said. "We do not see an alternative to the implementation of this plan."
Russia, which is pushing for a conference on Syria to include Iran despite U.S. protests, said that to deny Tehran a role in helping negotiate an end to the crisis would be "thoughtless".
"To say that Iran doesn't have a place because it is already to blame for everything and it's part of the problem and not part of the solution ... this is thoughtless to say the least," said Lavrov.
He said that Russia would be "only glad" to support the departure of President Bashar Assad if Syrians agreed on it, without wanting to impose the process from the outside.
"If the Syrians agree on this with each other, we will be only glad to support such an outcome," said Lavrov, adding that Moscow did not want to "impose the conditions of dialogue from outside."
Russia, along with China, has vetoed two Security Council resolutions against Assad and have vowed to oppose any military intervention.
Former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, the author of a fledgling peace plan on Syria, called Friday for "additional pressure" in the wake of a new massacre as he held talks in the United States.
Britain, France and the United States will quickly draw up a Security Council resolution proposing sanctions against Syria over the worsening conflict, diplomats said Friday.