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West stance on Syria becoming realistic

25 December 2013 9:58

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Western countries are becoming more realistic in their approach toward the ongoing crisis in Syria.

“The attitudes are changing in Western countries, they are becoming more realistic in their approach towards settling the Syrian crisis,” said Lavrov in an interview with Russia Today on Tuesday.

He stated that the western countries have changed their stance towards Syria after they became aware of the danger of terrorism there.

Lavrov said the western countries currently realize that toppling the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not end the crisis in the Arab country, adding, “The threat of terrorism in Syria, the threat of jihadists coming to power, the threat of creating a caliphate with extremist rules, the threat of violating the rights of minorities, or even depriving them of life, are the main problems.”

France and Belgium recently said that the European nationals who fight alongside the foreign-backed militants inside Syria pose a potential threat to the European Union and its allies.

The Russian foreign minister also touched upon the popularity of Assad in Syria, saying, “A large part of the population is for Assad for various reasons, not just because he enjoys the love of the people, but because big groups of people depend on him, and not only minorities, even the Sunni.”

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria since March 2011.

The UN also says more than four million other Syrians will be forced out of their homes in 2014 by the escalating conflict in the country. Two million Syrians are expected to take refuge outside the country while another 2.25 million are predicted to be internally displaced next year.

Earlier this month, the Syrian president said his country is being confronted by a major offensive led by Takfiri extremists.

“This is terrorism without limits, an international scourge that could strike anywhere and anytime,” Assad said.

The president also slammed Western countries, who “behave with duplicity and act according to their selfish interests, without understanding the reality or nature” of the Syrian conflict.

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