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Russia, France divided on Syria issue during Moscow talks

Friday, July 1, 2011

Laaska News  July 1,2011
MOSCOW, July 1 (Xinhua) — Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his visiting French counterpart Alain Juppe on Friday discussed the Syria issue but did not reach any consensus.

After the talks, Juppe told a joint press conference that the situation in Syria was a threat to the regional stability and that the U.N. Security Council should pass a resolution on the issue. However, Lavrov reiterated that Moscow would not support the Security Council in passing such a measure.

“The U.N. Security Council cannot remain silent on the situation in Syria. It must demand the immediate stop of hostilities and the launch of effective reforms (in the country),” Juppe said.

In turn, Lavrov reiterated that there has been no need to adopt a Security Council resolution on Syria.

“Our president has spoken about this on many occasions. This position remains in force,” Lavrov said. He also said that Moscow was still ready to find common ground with “our partners and with the international community” on Syria.

Meanwhile, Lavrov expressed support for the Syria president and said the refusal by the Syrian opposition to hold a dialogue with the country’s leaders is “unacceptable.”

“If the opposition is truly interested in reforms in the Syrian society and state, then it is simply unacceptable to skate out of such proposals (of holding dialogue),” Lavrov said.

Since mid-March, Syria has witnessed massive protests across the country. Germany and France have said they would continue efforts to push a Security Council resolution on Syria. Russia, meanwhile, has said it may veto the resolution.

Laaska News.