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Full statement by Russian Foreign Ministry, calls of international conference

Last modified: 25 Aug 2013 18:59

See full statement by Alexander Lukashevich on remarks of the US defense minister: 

Moscow has paid serious attention to the remarks of US defense minister Chuck Hagel about measures requested by president Barack Obama to secure readiness of the US army to launch a military action against Syria at any moment.

We are alarmed by demands from Paris, London and other capitals to respond decisively to alleged chemical attacks by the Syrian armed forces in eastern Ghouta on August, 21 while ignoring many facts showing the attacks were a provocation from the irreconcilable opposition.

All this makes us recall the events from ten years ago, when using false information about Iraq’s possession of WMD as a pretext, the US embarked on shady enterprises the consequences of which are well-known to everyone.

The current fuss around the events of August 21 is clearly aimed at disturbing the work of independent UN experts on chemical weapons. It looks especially strange if you remember for how long Paris and London were blocking the deployment of UN inspectors to probe a chemical weapons attack in Khan Al Asal near Aleppo on March 19. We cannot allow the truth about the incident to be blurred. On August 24 we sent a file to the UN in which facts of using chemical weapons by the opposition are documented.

We are again calling for everyone not to repeat mistakes of the past, not to allow actions violating international laws. Any unilateral actions in ignorance of the UN will undermine the international community’s efforts to find a diplomatic solution of the Syrian crisis. They will lead to further escalation of the crisis and will affect volatile situation in the Middle East where the consequences of the unilateral intervention in Libya in violation of UNSC resolutions are seen.

Unilateral actions will undermine prospects of Geneva-2 conference, preparation for which we agreed with our American partners to speed up. 

We insist on conscientious following of agreements to hold an international conference on Syria. As it's known, in contrast to the Syrian government which agreed to send its representatives to Geneva without preconditions, the opposition hasn't done so yet.

All sponsors of the opposition which have influence on it should seek the soonest agreement from all opponents of Bashar Al-Assad to join negotiations. Threats to use military force are sending opposite signals to the opposition. Our European and American partners should realize what catastrophic consequences such policy will have for the Arab world and the Islamic world in general.