Putin: Some Sides are Using Extremists to Achieve their Goals in Syria

Sep 06, 2012


MOSCOW, (SANA)_Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that some sides are using extremists to achieve their goals in Syria, calling upon all Western countries to reevaluate their position on the Syrian crisis.

In an interview with RT TV, Putin said ”There are sides who want to use extremist members of al-Qaeda or other extremist organizations to achieve their own goals in Syria, which is a very dangerous and short-sighted policy that leads to bad consequences.”

”It always happens that when someone wants to reach a certain end, he spares no means for that, and they are trying to use all means to reach their end…This is what happened after the Soviet forces entered Afghanistan when our current partners supported the movement there and founded al-Qaeda that later dealt a blow to the US,” said Putin.

The Russian president urged the West to re-evaluate its position on Syria. ”Why would Russia alone re-evaluate its stance? Maybe our partners in the negotiation process should re-evaluate their position,” he said.

Putin underscored the importance of halting violence by all sides and coming to the negotiation table, ”Only then can movement to practical steps related to the state’s internal system happen. We fully understand the importance of change, but it does not mean it has to be bloody.”

On the Russian stance on Syria, Putin said “We proposed a meeting on Syria, and all parties attended Geneva meeting and charted a roadmap for security and stability to prevail in Syria,” indicating that the armed opposition rejected Geneva decisions, and Western countries which took part in the meeting deviated from its decisions.

The Russian president stressed the importance of preventing a militarization of the conflict in Syria and stopping weapon supplies, underlining the significance of not imposing decisions on one side as this will be unacceptable.

He noted that Russia’s stance on the situation in Syria expresses a desire to create an appropriate climate for improving the situation there for years to come.

Answering a question on the role of the UN and the Security Council on the situation in Syria, the Russian president said “The UN is generally tasked with reaching compromises in the existing problems, which is a tough task.”

He said the events in the Middle East and North Africa are unfolding in an uncivilized way and are marked with violence that have not so far led to robust political systems capable of solving economic and political problems in these countries, expressing deep concern over the future developments there.

Lavrov Discusses with his French Counterpart Crisis in Syria

MOSCOW, (SANA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed on Thursday in a phone call with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius means of solving the crisis in Syria.

Russia Today website cited a source at the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying that the two ministers discussed means of cooperation to solve the crisis in Syria in light of the awaited-for communications in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings and the UN Security Council.

The source added that Special Representative of the Russian President to the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov discussed with UN National Security senior officials, who are visiting Russia currently, the crisis in Syria.

M. Ismael F.Allafi/M.Eyon

Putin: West’s Syria Policy Will Backfire

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Western powers that their “dangerous” stance on the Syria crisis could come back to haunt them.

“Today some want to use militants from Al Qaeda or some other organizations with equally radical views to accomplish their goals in Syria,” Putin said in a wide-ranging interview with the RT international news channel. “This policy is very short-sighted and is fraught with dire consequences.”

Putin compared alleged Western funding of radical Islamic militants to help topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with U.S. support for Afghan rebels after the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of its Central Asia neighbor.

“When someone aspires to attain an end they see as optimal, any means will do,” Putin said “As a rule, they will try and do that by hook or by crook – and hardly ever think of the consequences.”

“That was the case during the war in Afghanistan,” he added. “At that time, our present partners supported a rebel movement there and basically gave rise to Al Qaeda, which later backfired on the United States itself.”

Putin also hit out at Western criticism of the Kremlin’s refusal to back proposed UN sanctions against the Assad regime Syria over the ongoing bloodshed in the Middle East country and dismissed suggestions that Moscow could alter its position.

“How come Russia is the only one who’s expected to revise its stance? Don’t you think our counterparts in negotiations ought to revise theirs as well?” Putin said “Because if we look back at the events in the past few years, we’ll see that quite a few of our counterparts’ initiatives have not played out the way they were intended to.”

“Look at what’s going on in Arab countries. There have been notable developments in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, etc. Would you say that order and prosperity have been totally ensured for these nations? And what’s going on in Iraq?”

“In Libya, there are armed clashes still raging among the country’s various tribes,” he said.

And Putin suggested the key to ending the conflict in Syria was to halt weapons deliveries to Damascus.

“I believe that the first thing to do is to stop shipping arms into the warzone, which is still going on,” he said. “We should stop trying to impose unacceptable solutions on either side, because it is a dead-end. That’s what we should do. It is that simple.”

The Kremlin has said its arms shipments to Syria do not violate international law and do not include equipment that could be used against “peaceful protesters.”

Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria on July 19 over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the Middle East country, a move that United States envoy to the United Nations Susan Rice called “paranoid if not disingenuous.”

The resolution was tied to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would have provided for the use of force to put an end to the rapidly escalating conflict.

Russia says it has no special interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that the “Syrian people” should decide his fate.

And Putin vowed earlier this year not to allow a repeat of the “Libya scenario” which saw the murder of Muammar Gaddafi after a NATO military campaign last year.

RIA Novosti