17 March 2012
Western allegations that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is illegitimate are unacceptable, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Friday.
The anti-Assad stance is unlikely to foster a peaceful settlement in the conflict-torn country, he said. “In our view such opinions are counterproductive as they give a false signal to the opposition that there is no reason to engage in dialogue, that it’s better to expect help from NATO and the West, as was the case in Libya,” he said.
“We believe that this scenario is absolutely inadmissible and it will have grave consequences for Syrians and the stability of the situation in the region,” Bogdanov said.
He also condemned Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to shutter its embassy in Syria, saying the move is at odds with the general concept for easing the situation in the country.
On Friday four member states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council – Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and UAE - announced that they would withdraw their diplomats from Damascus. Bahrain, also a member of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, recalled its diplomats from Syria earlier this month.