Russia Continues Initiatives to Solve Syria Crisis with Annan Mission
July 10, 2012 • 7:40AM

Statements from Russian President Vladimir Putin to a biennial meeting of Russian diplomats in Moscow, and meetings held by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with the first of several Syrian opposition delegations to Moscow — both on July 9th — show the continuing war-avoidance initiatives by Russia against the Anglo-Obama war faction's bloody operations in Syria.

"The tragic events in Libya are for all to see; we can't allow this scenario to be repeated in other countries, such as Syria," Putin said. "We need to do everything to force the conflicting sides to achieve peaceful political solutions to all disputed issues," reported Bloomberg/Business Week.

Putin also denounced Western nations' operations to expand their influence through "so-called humanitarian operations, from exports of the 'missile-bomb' democracy and intervention in internal conflicts, including those bred by the 'Arab spring.'"

In the lengthy foreign policy statement (see other slug), Putin also attacked Russia's "partners" that take unilateral actions that constitute a "violation of international law."

At the same time, Lavrov was meeting with a very important delegation of the Syrian opposition from inside Syria, headed by Michel Kilo, a leader of the National Committee for Democratic Change, a grouping of secular nationalists, Marxists, independents, and Kurdish and other minorities.

Lavrov told the delegation, "Russia is one of the countries that actively works with the Syrian government and different opposition forces, in order to implement the Kofi Annan Plan," reported Russia Today. "This will become an important chance to carry out the agreements which were reached in Geneva."

Lavrov reiterated Moscow's firm stance on the conflict reached at the Geneva communique of June 30 meeting that was organized by Special Envoy Kofi Annan, to stop all the violence and start a political process that will allow the parties to decide on a political transition. He also told Kilo, "I hope that your assessments will be useful for us."

Kilo, who has refused to attended Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition meetings outside Syria because they were sponsored by Qatar and Turkey and were geared to bring about foreign military intervention, told Lavrov that Syria had become "an arena for an international conflict," and that he holds out hope that Russia, together with the opposing sides, will be able to "stabilize the situation in the country."

The opposition leader said that "the regime does not satisfy our demands and it says we do not represent the Syrian people," but said that his grouping is willing to sit down with the Assad government and negotiate.

According to Voice of Russia, July 9, the Syrian National Council was also in Moscow today for meetings with Lavrov. In a first-ever interview with Voice of Russia, SNC leader, Abdelbasset Sida, who headed the delegation, said the SNC "would like to understand what Russia's position on the situation in Syria is," at which point the SNC will "answer them."

Sida insisted that "similar to Moscow ... we at the Syrian National Council do not want any foreign military interference." However, he also insisted that, contrary to the Geneva statement, "The Syrian problem will start to be solved only when Bashar al-Assad leaves office. If this does not happen, all other proposals including for example, formation of interim coalition government, will make no sense."