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Russia’s Syria Policy Still Based on Geneva Communiqué of 2012

Sept. 23, 2015 (EIRNS)—Moscow set out its political objectives in Syria, yesterday, with some clarity, in case there was still some confusion.

"We are not going to put forward any new ideas to the UN [for a political settlement in Syria]," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said, yesterday, in Moscow, reports TASS.

"The most important thing now is not to search for new ideas but to find a solution to the problem on the basis of the Geneva communiqué from 2012."

He said that the communiqué "remains the main basis for a political settlement". He noted that it "outlines all necessary measures and steps" and also "highlights the need to start dialogue" between Syria’s warring sides. "If there is goodwill between conflicting parties and those external players who are able to steer them in the right direction, then good prospects exist for a political settlement."

Therefore, if the US does not agree that the Syrian people themselves should decide their future, it should withdraw its signature from the communiqué, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, this morning. "The Geneva communiqué says that political future of Syria must be determined by the Syrian people themselves," she said. "Then, probably, the U.S. should state that it is retracting the signature to the Geneva communiqué. Then we will be able to understand what their next move will be," she added.

"If they have not recalled their signature and state their commitment to the document, then there can be no modelling of scenarios for the development of the situation and its practical implementation. Otherwise, the U.S. is deceiving everybody,"

Zakharova added.

The Geneva Communiqué, signed on June 30, 2012, by representatives of the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and then UN special envoy Kofi Annan, provides, among other things, for a transitional governing body that will provide space for a political settlement of the conflict. Nowhere in the document does it say that President Bashar al Assad must leave office. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted at the signing of the document that it required him to go, an assertion that was immediately contradicted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.