Syrian rebel near the city of Taftanaz in Idlib governorate© REUTERS/ Abdalghne Karoof
Syria Needs Negotiations to Stop ‘Massacre’ – Putin© RIA Novosti. Alexei Drouzhinin
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MOSCOW, April 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is not looking to oust Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and wants the conflicting parties to negotiate and stop the “massacre,” putting an end to the “catastrophe” in Syria, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
“We do not think that Assad should leave today, as our partners suggest. In this case, tomorrow we will have to decide what to do and where to go,” Putin told German broadcaster ARD in an interview at his Novo-Ogarevo residence near Moscow.
He cited Libya as an example, which, according to him, “has already split into three parts.”
“We don't want a situation that is just as difficult as in Iraq. We do not want to have a situation of the same difficulty as in Yemen, and so on,” he said.
Rebels in Libya, some of them members of Islamist groups, ousted and killed long-standing dictator Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, after a months-long uprising in which they received assistance from NATO forces.
“We believe it is necessary to sit everyone down at the negotiating table, so that all warring parties could reach an agreement on how their interests will be protected and in what way they will participate in the future governance of the country,” he said.
Putin also reiterated that Russian supplies of weapons to Syria are legal, while supplying arms to rebels fighting the authorities contradicts international norms and laws.
“First of all, there are no bans on arms supplies to incumbent legitimate governments. Secondly, only recently the opposition received 3.5 tons of arms and ammunition through airports near Syria,” he said referring to an article in The New York Times last week.
“There are international legal norms stating that it is inadmissible to supply arms to armed groups that strive to destabilize the situation in a certain country with the use of weapons,” he added.
Last week, The New York Times reported that the United States has recently been assisting Turkey and Arab nations in boosting their arms deliveries to Syrian rebels.
Putin also said that French President Francois Hollande, who visited Moscow last month, has interesting ideas on how to solve the ongoing conflict in Syria, and Russia is ready to support them.
“I think he has some interesting ideas that can be implemented, but it requires some diplomatic work. We are ready to support these ideas. We need to try and put them into practice,” Putin said.
About 70,000 people have died in Syria since the start of the uprising against president Assad in March 2011, according to UN estimates.
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- mrgenieHmmm..22:45, 05/04/2013I agree with Mr. Putin before these attacks from Syrian forces against civilians started. The people held peaceful protests against Assad. Then was the time to deploy the ideas by Mr. Putin to start negotiations. Unfortunately, by support of Russian arms Assad ordered to use military force against civilians. He attacked civilians over months, supported by Russia. At least the first half year there were no extremist groups in Syria to fight Assad. Also there was no support by other countries for the civilians. In this period, Assad cracked down most protests by using Russian weapons backed and supported by Mr. Putin. I think back then Mr. Putin should have told Mr. Assad to stop using Russian weapons against woman and children and to negotiate with the people. After the first months however, support started to come from other Arab nations for the civilians to stop the Russian-Syrian attack against civilians. Even later then that, the first extremists groups were formed to fight against the Russians supported killing of woman and children. Now it's too late Mr. Putin to talk about negotiations. You can't first support the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, make millions of children homeless. Supply Russian weapons to kill children, and then when the opposition gains strength against the Russian weapons knowing the Russian-Syrian attack against civilians will fall and loose, and then suddenly start talking about "let's talk, since we're going to loose despite our modern Russian weapons used to kill innocent civilians ordered by Mr. Putin and Mr. Assad"
It's too late Mr. Putin. You already have the blood of tens of thousands of dead innocent children on your hands. You already made million of normal families to loose family members and made them homeless. Now these people have nothing too loose. No wonder Russia is now the most hated country in the world by 1.3 billion Muslems. It's too late Mr. Putin. You've had your chance for peace. You have chosen to kill innocent woman and children. Now Russia unfortunately will have more then a billion of enemies at it's southern borders. Good Job Mr. Putin. Your friends made billions of USD with the killings, and the common Russian people will have to pay the price for it. Maybe mr. Putin should resign for commencing politics to make the Russian people more enemies then it ever had before in the history of the Russian Federation.
Any anti-ISIL operation in Iraq cannot be effective unless the Islamic State is attacked in Syria. But the final statement of the Paris Conference did not mention Syria as a precaution against disunity in the coalition and with due regard for the Russian position.