PUTIN: EXTREMISTS MUST BE PREVENTED FROM EXPLOITING THE SYRIAN CRISIS – Kerry in Turkey after Aid Vow to Syrian Militants

Posted on March 1, 2013 by
 
Putin: Extremists Must Be Prevented from Exploiting Crisis in Syria
Mar 01, 2013


MOSCOW, (SANA)_Russian President, Vladimir Putin, called the international community to prevent extremists and international terrorists from taking advantage of the tragedy unfolding in Syria for serving their goals.
 
In a press conference following talks with his French counterpart Francois Hollande in Moscow on Thursday, Putin recalled the terrorist bombing outside the Russian embassy in Damascus a week ago that claimed several lives, among them children.
 
”Such brutal operation should have drawn a strong international condemnation,” Putin said.
He said that he had ”heated” talks with his French counterpart on Syria, adding he believes that the French president has “agreed to certain views we had proposed.”
 
”Despite the differences in the Russian and French stances on the Syrian crisis, we call for preserving Syria as an undivided democratic state,” said Putin, adding ”we have plenty of common denominators in the general assessment of the situation there.”
 
”It is our duty to heed our partners’ views on certain aspects in this intricate issue and think it over,” Putin said.
 
Putin indicated that the French president had formulated new proposals on the crisis, adding he believes they might be discussed with all partners.
 
Putin recalled Russia’s firm position in backing the legitimate government and combating terrorists and extremists everywhere, indicating that Russia stands by France on this as it supported Paris in Mali.
 
For his part, Hollande renewed his country’s intransigent stand on Syria, affirming that ”France and Russia are working in two parallel courses on settling the crisis in Syria which are difficult to reconcile…but we can confirm a tangible progress was made as we share the same goal of fighting terrorism and preventing the disintegration of the country.”
 
He called for pushing ahead with the political dialogue without wasting time, considering that his responsibility lies in finding an exit route from the crisis.
 
Hollande said France considers that the settlement in Syria is ”impossible in the context of cooperation with President Bashar al-Assad,” although acknowledging that other sides consider president al-Assad a representative of the Syrian people.
 
Churkin: Syria Will Be among Russia’s Focal Issues during Its UNSC Presidency
 
In another context, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, stressed that the situation in Syria will be among the focal issues which Moscow will focus on during its rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in March.
 
Speaking to Russia Today TV, Churkin pointed out that the Russian and American stances on the crisis in Syria have converged to some extent, calling for following the path of dialogue to solve this crisis.
 
He reaffirmed that Russia’s stance is clear and simple as it believes in the need to halting the violence and starting dialogue without preconditions based on Geneva Statement.
Churkin said that the international community cannot solve the crisis in Syria without the Syrians themselves.
 
“We can help them in getting out of the crisis, and this is what Russia is doing by talking to the government and the opposition,” he added.
 
Russia Committed to all Arms Deals Signed with Syria
 
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev stressed on Thursday that Russia is committed to all arms deals signed with Syria, reiterating his country’s concerns over the U.S. plans in the field of anti-missiles defenses in Europe.
 
Meeting Head of the Polish National Security Bureau, Stanisław Koziej, Patrushev said, “We have to implement the deals that we have signed.”
 
M. Ismael F.L/M.E

Kerry in Turkey after Aid Vow to Syrian Militants

Local Editor
 
US Secretary of State John KerryUS Secretary of State John Kerry was due to discuss the Syria crisis with Turkey’s leaders on Friday in talks likely to be strained by controversial comments by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan branding Zionism a “crime against humanity.”

The talks come a day after Washington announced that it would for the first time provide direct aid to Syrian rebels in the form of food and medical supplies as well as $60 million in extra assistance to the political opposition.

The two-year civil war in neighboring Syria will top the agenda for Kerry, who is due to meet with President Abdullah Gul, Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

But the talks are likely to be overshadowed by renewed tension between Turkey and the Zionist entity, two major Washington allies, following comments Erdogan made earlier this week at the UN-sponsored forum in Vienna.

“As is the case for Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it is inevitable that Islamophobia be considered a crime against humanity,” Erdogan said.

His comments were dubbed as “a dark and mendacious statement,” by Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while Washington strongly stated that “characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity… is offensive and wrong.”

Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has joined the west in its campaign to oust the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and has given shelter to Syrian militant opposition groups and to nearly 200,000 refugees along its volatile border.

In January, the United States began deploying Patriot missiles, along with Germany and the Netherlands, as part of a NATO mission to protect Turkey from any spillover of the Syrian conflict.

Kerry was also due to attend a memorial ceremony in Ankara, in honor of the US embassy guard who was killed in a February 1 suicide attack claimed by the anti-US group the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C.)

Among the issues on his agenda during the talks is also Washington’s pressure for increasing sanctions on Iran for its peaceful nuclear program.

Iran is Turkey’s second-biggest natural gas supplier after Russia, and third biggest in oil.

Source: AFP
01-03-2013 – 18:38 Last updated 01-03-2013 – 18:54

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