`Even if armed to teeth, rebels can`t beat Syrian Army`
Baku: Russia`s foreign minister warned other nations again Wednesday not to arm the Syrian opposition, saying it would only escalate hostilities.
Speaking on a trip to Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Syrian opposition wouldn`t be able to overwhelm government forces even if it was supplied with weapons from abroad. He warned that a foreign military intervention would lead to even more disastrous consequences for Syria, where President Bashar Assad`s forces have violently cracked down on a yearlong uprising in which more than 9,000 people have died.
"Even if they arm the Syrian opposition to the teeth, it won`t be able to defeat the Syrian army," Lavrov said. "The carnage will go on for many years."
Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two Sunni-ruled nations, have backed the idea of arming the opposition against Assad`s Shiite-ruled government, but the West remains opposed. Western nations moved instead to create a fund for the rebels at a meeting in Istanbul.
Russia, along with China, has twice shielded Assad from United Nations sanctions over his bloody crackdown on dissent. But Moscow also has strongly supported U.N. envoy Kofi Annan`s peace plan, which gives an April 10 deadline for Syrian troops to pull out of towns and cities.
Lavrov reaffirmed that Assad needs to take the first step to end bloodshed, but all international players need to back Annan`s proposals.
He criticized Sunday`s meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People" in Istanbul, saying it sent signals to the opposition that would undermine Annan`s plan.
"All that would undermine efforts to end violence," he said. "They want to solve the Syrian problem with the opposition only, but it`s impossible to settle the situation like that. There must be a dialogue of all the parties involved."
Russia`s Foreign Ministry said that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem will hold talks with Lavrov in Moscow next Tuesday, and representatives of the Syrian opposition will visit the Russian capital on April 17-18.
While Moscow has shown signs of increasing impatience with its old ally, criticizing Assad for being too slow at reforms, it also has criticized the West and Arab Gulf states for backing the opposition. It has strongly opposed U.N. sanctions against Assad, saying that the global body shouldn`t be turned into an instrument for regime change.
Russia has vowed to block any U.N. resolution that could pave the way for a replay of what happened in Libya, where NATO action helped oust longtime dictator Moammar Gaddafi.
Lavrov said NATO nations had abused a U.N. resolution that cleared the way for a military action in Libya, killing civilians and "leaving something that can`t be called a state in the end."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- BBV: What challenges lie ahead of Modi govt?
- DNA analysis of rising water crisis in India!
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- DNA: Delhi shop owners express their plight through Zee initiative 'My News'
- Watch: Zee Media mega survey on Modi govt- Part 2
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Check mahresult.nic.in for Maharashtra HSC Result 2015 to be announced at 1 pm on May 27
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi