Powers should reassess Syria stance: Putin
06 September 2012, 17:53
Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin urged
Western and Arab powers on Thursday to reassess their stance on Syria
and ensure the security of its current leadership in any power
"Why should Russia be the only one
reassessing its position? Perhaps our negotiating partners should
reassess their position," Putin told Russia Today television.
if you recall what happened in recent years... you will see that far
from all of our partners' initiatives ended the way they wanted them
to," he said in reference to Western involvement in countries such as
The Russian leader stressed that talks should still be
able to end the escalating violence and insisted that the fate of its
Soviet-era ally's new government should be decided by the Syrians
He also made the security of the regime's negotiating
team and leadership a condition of any transition process. Putin made
no reference to President Bashar Assad himself.
End the violence
us, the most important thing is to end the violence, to force all the
sides in the conflict... to sit down at the negotiating table, determine
the future and ensure the security of all the participants of the
domestic political process," Putin said.
"Only then move on to these practical steps about the internal organisation of the country itself."
has stirred Western and Arab world anger by vetoing three UN Security
Council resolutions providing for sanctions against Assad during the
18-month conflict and accused the United States of openly pursuing
Putin dismissed criticism that Russia was shielding Assad by using its UN veto and supplying his army with arms.
understand perfectly well that changes there are needed, but believe
that this does not mean that these changes should be bloody," said
"We have an equal amount of respect for all," he stressed.
Russia has been holding periodic consultations in Moscow with representatives of Syria's various opposition groups.
its first meeting with the Syrian National Council in July ended with
the umbrella group accusing Moscow of inciting more bloodshed through