by our Arab Affairs correspondent
RUSSIA has warned the Americans against taking any unilateral action against Syria following US threats of “enormous consequences” if Syria used chemical or biological weapons or even moved them in a menacing way. Meanwhile the Syrian army is moving to eliminate the last remaining rebel snipers in Aleppo after a campaign which they claim has resulted in the elimination of at least 700 rebels.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow and Beijing were committed to “the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law…and not to allow their violation” following talks with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai in Moscow on Monday.
Russia and China have opposed Nato intervention in Syria throughout the 17-month crisis and they have vetoed three imperialist attempts at the United Nations to get a Security Council mandate for imperialist intervention.
But a Russian draft resolution condemning last week’s terrorist bombing near the hotel serving as the UN headquarters in Damascus on 15th has been blocked by the US and its allies on the UN Security Council. The imperialists and their lackeys claim they did not have enough information on the incident to render a verdict — a conclusion the Russians said only “encourages the organisers of this crime”.
The Kremlin has told the imperialists that they believe Syria has no intention of using its chemical weapons and is able to safeguard them — a view endorsed by the Israelis who confirm that the Assad government has taken precautions to avoid chemical weapons falling into rebel hands. And a Russian foreign ministry official has told the Moscow media that the Americans had “firmly warned insurgents not to even come close to chemical weapons storage sites and production plants” and that “opposition groups are heeding” those demands which showed “that the West can exert very specific influence on Assad’s opponents when they want to do so”.
While the Nato powers stoke the fires of sectarian violence in Syria to bring down the anti-imperialist Syrian government, Russia and China are continuing to support UN efforts to end the civil strife. Syrian deputy premier Qadri Jamil, in Moscow for talks with the Russian leadership, stressed his government’s readiness for immediate engagement in the joint work aimed at reaching consensus among all the Syrians and an immediate political dialogue with the opposition. Both sides expressed hope that the newly-appointed special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, would carry out his mission successfully.
“Our stance has been clear since the start of the crisis in terms of the necessity of going for dialogue without pre-conditions,” Jamil said, adding that putting such pre-conditions hinders the process of starting dialogue.
“Those who want to start dialogue should go for it immediately and put forth on the table their ideas and views on solving the crisis and visions for the upcoming renewed Syria,” he said.
The Syrian minister pointed out that there are principles for dialogue that must be committed to for getting the dialogue table started.
“These principles have become known and are represented in the rejection of foreign interference and violence in all their forms,” said Jamil, reiterating that these two points are not conditions but principles that should be agreed on, “otherwise dialogue will be doomed to failure”.
Once agreement is made on these two principles, he added, the other issues will be solvable through dialogue that is aimed at reaching accord.
Jamil also said that Syria suffers illegitimate, unfair and unilateral sanctions by the European Union and USA, underlining that the sanctions don’t target the Syrian government as they claim, but they affect the Syrian people.
Qadri Jamil is a former communist who helped draft the new Syrian constitution and now sits as an independent in the Syrian People’s Assembly. At a press conference in Moscow Jamil said that US President Barack Obama’s “propagandist threats” over chemical weapons in Syria showed that the West is looking for a pretext for military intervention.
And he compared Obama’s remarks to those made by the imperialists in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, when it was falsely claimed that the Iraq possessed hidden “weapons of mass destruction”.