Russia says Western support for Libyan rebels 'dangerous'

Russia urges the international community, and primarily members of the U.N. Security Council, not to fan confrontation between official authorities and opposition in countries of the Middle East and North Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, commenting on the situation in Libya and Yemen.

“We call on all international high-ranking officials, first of all, on members of the U.N. Security Council, to encourage a dialogue rather than fan further confrontation,” he stressed.

“We have repeatedly voiced our stance about inadmissibility of the use of force against civilians,” Lavrov recalled. “The U.N. Security Council has reiterated this position in its resolutions on the situation in Libya.”

“But the U.N. Security Council has never targeted to change the regime in Libya or in any other country,” the Russian foreign minister said, adding that those seeking to use these resolutions to change the Libyan regime “are blatantly violating the Security Council mandate.”

“The worst thing is that aware of this position Libya’s opposition is categorically reluctant to come to the negotiating table, although the current top-priority task is to cease fire,” he noted. “This may drive Yemeni opposition to a conclusion that they could get help from abroad. But this is a very dangerous logic.”

[Source: ITAR TASS, Belgrade, 19Apr11]

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