Russia: Assad Resignation No Precondition for Settling Crisis in Syria

A1129144 Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich rejected the media reports that President Bashar Assad’s resignation is the precondition for any future negotiations over the Syrian crisis.

“No one has set any preconditions for (Assad’s) resignation. There’s no such condition in the agreed Geneva communiqué,” the Russia foreign official was quoted as saying by Voice of Russia.

Lukashevich pointed out that urging an elected president to step down ran counter to the agreements made previously at the ministerial level.

He denied the allegations that Syrian armed forces were using chemical weapons against opposition insurgents, and stressed the West was trying to justify a possible military invasion in the country.

He reiterated the official Russian stand that the Syrian conflict had no military solution.

The Russian foreign spokesman also rejected the rumors alleging that Russia and the US had agreed on a joint road map for Syria.

There are certain discrepancies between Russia and the West on the implementation of the Geneva Convention, Alexander Lukashevich said. “Our colleagues have made a U-turn in their stance (on Syria),” he added, pointing out that the West was insisting on a dialogue exclusively with the opposition, which ran counter to the Geneva communiqué.

A Kuwaiti newspaper reported earlier this week that the US and Russia are hoping to accomplish a change in Syria’s regime by the end of February.

The daily Al-Rai newspaper quoted diplomatic sources this week as claiming the two world superpowers were hoping to formulate a plan for a transition of power in Damascus within the next 10 weeks.

The plan will include an agreement for the United Nations Security Council to sponsor a Syrian transitional government as part of the effort to stop violence in the country, the Kuwaiti paper said.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

The US and its western and regional allies have long sought to topple Assad and his ruling system. Media reports said that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.

The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling the President Bashar al-Assad’s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.

The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.

Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said in May that the flow of weapons – most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past – has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.

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