Publish date14 Nov 2011 - 14:54
Story Code : 71172
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Freezing Syria's membership is a Mistake

TNA - Beirut
Freezing Syria
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow considers freezing Syria's Arab League (AL) membership as a mistake and a premeditated step.

In statements to journalists on Monday, Lavrov added "Those who took that decision lost a very important opportunity to move the situation towards more transparency," indicating that there are some sides who never want the Syrians to agree with each other.

He went on saying that the Western countries provoke the Syrian opposition to undermine Syria's stability, criticizing France and Washington's stances as blatant interference in Syria's internal affairs.

He stressed that the extremist opposition members have been provoked to adopt an extremist trend that aims at toppling the regime, and rejects any calls for dialogue, indicating that the extremist gunmen exploit the peaceful demonstrations to provoke the Syrian authorities.

He referred to the continued weapons smuggling from Turkey, Iraq and other countries, asserting that these facts can't be refuted and nobody has denied them.

In a related context, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who expressed his great happiness to visit Syria "the cradle of civilizations and religions."

Patriarch Kirill said his visit came to stress the solid relations between the Russian and Syrian peoples and in light of the great position Syria enjoys historically and religiously.

He applauded the diversity he witnessed in Syria which is marked by amity, fraternity and cooperation, saying that Syria constitutes a model of Christian-Islamic fraternity for all the world.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia voiced hope that the Syrian people will overcome the crisis their country is going through and that Syria "will remain the country of love and peace."

President al-Assad, for his part, expressed appreciation to the Patriarch and the Russian people and leadership for their standing by the Syrian people, underlining the importance of the historical relationship between the two friendly countries.

Assad said that Syria, which has played an important role throughout history in spreading the holy religions and the culture of love and fraternity all over the world, continues to play this role by virtue of its history and position in the Middle East and the world.
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