Russia Sees no Chance of Assad Stepping Down

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Russia acknowledged on Saturday that Syrian President Bashar Assad will not be persuaded to quit but insisted there is still a chance of finding a political solution to the 21-month conflict.

International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned Syria was facing a choice between "hell or the political process" after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on his end-of-year bid to accelerate moves to halt a conflict that monitors say has now killed more than 45,000 people.

The talks came amid emerging signs that Russia was beginning to distance itself from Assad's government and urgent efforts by Brahimi to resurrect a failed peace initiative that world powers agreed to in Geneva in June.

"It is really indispensable that the conflict finishes in 2013 and really the beginning of 2013," the envoy said.

Lavrov said both he and Brahimi agreed there was hope for a solution as long as world powers put pressure on both sides.

"The confrontation is escalating. But we agree the chance for a political solution remains," he said.

Moscow has been under intense pressure to urge the leadership of its last Middle East ally to accept a face-saving agreement that would see the rebels assume gradual command as the fighting reaches Damascus itself.

Yet analysts have questioned the actual sway the Kremlin has over Assad, and Lavrov appeared to betray a hint of frustration when revealing that Assad had this week told Brahimi that he does not intend to leave.

"Regarding Bashar Assad, he repeatedly said, both publicly and in private... that he is not planning to leave, that he will remain in his post," Lavrov said.

"There is no possibility to change this position."

Brahimi painted a stark picture of Syrian neighbors Jordan and Lebanon being overrun by a million refugees should heavy fighting for the seat of power break out in Syria's five-million-strong capital.

If this fighting "develops into something uglier... (refugees) can go to only two places -- Lebanon and Jordan.

"So if the alternative is hell or the political process, we have all of us got to work ceaselessly for a political process," Brahimi said.

Lavrov echoed that message by warning that Syria threatened to dissolve into a failed state similar to Somalia -- a nation overrun by warlords and jihadists.

"Syria must have a stable political process. That is one alternative," the Russian minister said.

"The other alternative is the Somalization of Syria -- and you can only imagine the consequences of that."

Brahimi's trip came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity in Moscow that saw Russia issue an invitation to talks to the armed opposition National Coalition -- recognized by Western governments as sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

The invite was rebuffed by National Coalition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, drawing an angry response from Lavrov.

"I understand that Mr. Khatib is not very fluent in politics and maybe he could benefit by hearing our position not from the media... but directly from us," he said.

On the ground, at least 153 killed were killed in violence on Saturday, among them 76 civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Eight children were among at least 17 people killed in air strikes on the suburbs of Damascus, the Britain-based watchdog added.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi insisted: "There is no place for the current regime in a future Syria."

Lebanon seized a consignment of mortars and machine guns near its border with Syria, a security source said, without confirming that they were intended to be delivered to the rebels.

Comments 24
Missing mohammad_ca 29 December 2012, 13:24

Lavrov should just shut up and stop playing these games to buy ASSad more time to kill his people.

Thumb mckinl 29 December 2012, 14:04

Lavrov is the best Foreign Secretary in the world ... Unlike the war mongers of NATO Zionism and the crony commercialism of most other countries Lavrov seeks peace ... but most importantly ... he knows the score and tells it like it is ...

Missing mohammad_ca 29 December 2012, 14:11

NATO Zionism and corny commercialism...
This is the same country that is selling weapons to ASSad and making $$ off of it. #Fail.

Missing samiam 29 December 2012, 14:13

wow man--you must be drinking some great kool-aid. I don't think his master Putin thinks that. In any case, he is just doing what Putin wants him to do and basically protecting the only ally he has left in the middle east.

Best foreign secretary---please man, if you want people to take you seriously, you should back away from the drugs.

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 December 2012, 15:13

Russia seriously miscalculated in supporting Assad and they could have supported the rebels and came out on top.. so i have no idea how you think Lavrov..who is only a mouth piece for Putin's the best Foreign Minister in the
and i love how he is seeking peace while 45,000 have died because of Russian veto... love the calculations on that one.

Thumb geha 29 December 2012, 14:16

it is apparent that bashar is loosing ground, thus Russia wants to buy time through useless negotiations :)
same tactics used here by iran and hizbushaitan: they try to buy time....

Thumb primesuspect 29 December 2012, 13:39

The giraf's days are numbered whether lavrov likes it or not. And if we see salafists today it's purely the fault of those who didn't help topple the dictator from day one. This includes Iran, Russia, china and the western world; it also includes some M8 elements. Now, the world will have to live with Islamists in power thanks to them!!!

Thumb primesuspect 29 December 2012, 16:08

Blaming the Arab countries is lame... They aren't the cause... They're just trying to fill a gap created by the Assad degenerates. The salafists aren't the cause, they're a natural reaction due to the frustration of 50 years of dictatorship, the Arab humiliations since the British/French colonial empires.... The lost wars against Israel... They seek refuge in religion because they believe only Allah can help them. They feel powerless.... Can you blame them? But the who oppose them will suffer too.

Thumb primesuspect 29 December 2012, 18:27

Claro que no Tonto. It isn't about Alawites or Sunnis or Christians , to me at least. It's about a corrupt ruling minority. I couldn't care less about what they are. The same fate happened to Saddam Hussein. The Alawites hiring only Alawites for the good positions, the rest of the people was starving.... And those managing had to give baksheesh to the Alawites. So, the leadership WAS NOT representative of its people, that's why it's falling apart today. And those unhappy about the consequences should only blame themselves for not helping them when they were most in need. Did you get it or do you need a drawing?

Missing beirutbastard00 30 December 2012, 05:49

the rest of the ppl were starving??... i dont think any1 has ever starved in syria. anyway, i only wish the "arab spring" happened during hofez's time.

but theresistance had a good point when he asked why the islamist rnt causing hell in the gulf, which is the worst in terms of freedoms n human rights. the irony will catch up with them hard one day im sure.

gadafi didnt realize he lost till he was found in sewer, sadam in a hole... i hoped bashars youth, and his relatively short period of time in power would have kept him from making the same mistake. they havent.

Default-user-icon John Marina (Guest) 29 December 2012, 15:21

Who is financing the Salafists? and where they are hired from?. Those individuals carry a very dangerous ideology, if you are not with us or one of us you against us killing you the kafer will carry us straight to heavens

Thumb rover98 29 December 2012, 15:54

Warning Salfist will murder and kill your women and children for no reason and rob you of your possessions and countless other crimes: Sorry thats whats happening right by Assad.His supporters know this (ie Hezbollah Iran Russia) and will not go unpunished.

Default-user-icon ismail (Guest) 29 December 2012, 17:02

Lavrov is the best diplomat Russia has ever had.

Missing gabby12 29 December 2012, 18:43

His boy ASSad just wants to keep killing.

Default-user-icon GoingBackwards (Guest) 29 December 2012, 18:55

Personally, I beleive that all arab countries from their 'revolutions' are just going backwards. They look great in fighting for their freedoms in the beginning, but simply vote a new government that is islamic and more hardcore than what was there to begin with.

Thumb andre.jabbour 29 December 2012, 19:47

so you agree that you're an idiot? good to know!!!!

Who cares about what my neighbor, a cleric, a garbageman, a banker says about X Y Z? Why do you pay attention to idiots? you give them credit. That's why we don't pay attention to you.... just from time to time when we're bored.

Missing peace 29 December 2012, 21:29

M8 knows evreything better than anyone :

their summary of the syrian war :

evil salafis against the good democratic bashar...

a real georges bush vision of the world! so entertaining at least!

Default-user-icon habib (Guest) 30 December 2012, 13:10

thats not nice

Thumb shab 30 December 2012, 00:24

Why is he still babling about peace? Nobody but Assad wants it. Keep quiet for the sake of other Russians.

Missing canadianadam 30 December 2012, 01:02

Good. I don't want him to step down, nor Nasrallah. I'd rather see the FSA catch them.

Trust me the resistance, your little group is like an endangered species surrounded by lions and we won't forget about those assassinations. Get ready to pack your bags for Iran.

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 30 December 2012, 05:23

The only stepping that will be happening is when the FSA steps down on assad's neck. Just before they hang him.

Missing beirutbastard00 30 December 2012, 06:01

honestly i wouldnt mind if the war ended so the refugees can go back home, but the country stays destabilized. the more time lebanon gets away from syrian dominance the better. cause no matter which side wins, u can bet they will rule this country again. sadly.

Missing beirutbastard00 30 December 2012, 06:07

i wonder what assads exit plan is!!! i hope its something cool, like he goes to the alliwite mountains for a last stand! this has become my fav movie :)

Missing raptor 30 December 2012, 17:23

Wow accordionman, sooo let us take a moment and think about ur amazing very smart comment.... Ok so Assad has only used 15% of his awesome power, ok so what is he waiting for? It's been 2 urs, he has lost control of most of the country, the destruction is unthinkable and he is losing ground daily. So when is he planning to use that 85%? Please enlighten all us inferior beings oh great one... But don't worry soun ur idol said the war will end on Tuesday...