Syria

Lavrov: Al-Assad Has No Intention to Quit, Chemical Weapons Safe

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov announced Saturday that the Syrian government has consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations.

He further assured that Russia has kept close watch over its chemical arsenal.
“The Syrian government has moved them from many arsenals to just “one or two centers to properly safeguard them,” Lavrov stated.

He said the biggest threat from Syria’s chemical weapons was that they could fall into the hands of militants.
“Currently the Syrian government is doing all it can to secure chemical weapons, according to intelligence data we have and the West has,” he said.
In parallel, the head of Moscow’s diplomacy stressed that “neither side would win the civil war in Syria,”

“China and Russia would be unable to persuade President Bashar al-Assad to quit even if they tried,” he said in response for calls urging his country to pressure on al-Assad.
Lavrov also mentioned: “Al-Assad refuses to step down and won’t be offered asylum in Moscow to help persuade him.”

“Some regional powers suggested that we tell al-Assad we were ready to accommodate him,” Lavrov said. “And we replied: “Why do we have to do it? If you have these plans, go to him yourselves directly.”

He said the international envoy seeking peace through diplomacy, al-Akhdar Ibrahimi, would visit Russia before the end of this year.

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