“Only Syrians may decide their future” – Lavrov

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September 1st, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Breakingnews.sy – – translated by Samer Hussein –


“Only Syrians may decide their future”, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. 

“Russia is working with all countries involved to resolve crises in the region”, Lavrov said in a speech to students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. 

“Doha and Riyadh also confirmed their support for the negotiations on settlement Astana on Syria”, he added, noting that Ankara represents their positions. 

Lavrov said that after the administration of the former US President Barack Obama failed to meet its obligations to separate the “moderate opposition” from terrorists in Syria, Russia began to seek reliable partners, and thus headed to Iran and Turkey, noting that this resulted in the launch of negotiations between the Syrian government and the so-called “armed opposition” in Astana, in addition to establishing de-escalation zones within Syrian territory, a thing which was welcomed by many parties, Saudi Arabia and Qatar including, adding that the two countries, although not directly participating in Astana negotiations, nevertheless pledged their support for Moscow, confirming that Turkey acts on their behalf and represents their interests. 

He also said his recent visit to Qatar in scope of his Gulf tour, confirmed the existence of a consensus between Moscow and Doha on the basic principles of the settlement of the Syrian crisis.

Lavrov said that despite some marginal differences between the two countries, namely as regards their approach to different parties in Syria, Moscow and Doha both desire the end of war that could be achieved through dialogue between the Syrian parties. 

He stressed that Qatar finally agreed that secularism of the Syrian state must be preserved, taking into account the interests and rights of all components of the Syrian society.

In regards to the ongoing diplomatic row between Qatar and its fellow GCC states, Lavrov said Moscow maintains good relations with Qatar and the rest of the Gulf countries, while firmly rejecting calls to isolate any countries, because countries, both large and small, always have legitimate interests beyond their geographical borders. 

Before finishing his speech, Lavrov said he plans to visit Saudi Arabia and Jordan soon.

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