Russia has warned the Western powers that their call for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is like daydreaming and will only lead to more bloodshed in the Arab state.
“If the position of our partners remains the departure of this leader who they do not like, the bloodbath will continue,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Paris on Wednesday after holding talks with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
“It is like daydreaming to speculate on the subject, to the effect that if the [Syrian] government is overthrown everything will fall into place,” Lavrov added.
“If this is a priority for somebody, bloodshed will continue,” he stated.
Lavrov went on to say that “Assad’s fate should be decided by the Syrian people.”
The Russian foreign minister called for efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict, reiterating that there is no military solution to the problem.
He urged the Western states and Turkey to negotiate with the Syrian president.
Damascus accuses Ankara of being a key member of an international coalition attempting to destabilize Syria.
Lavrov said Paris and Moscow want an end to the conflict and support efforts to avert an international contagion.
Meanwhile, the French foreign minister said Paris still disagrees with Russia over Assad’s role in any future transition government.