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Russian diplomat believes UK is afraid of Moscow-Washington cooperation on Syria
The United Kingdom is afraid of Moscow and Washington cooperating on Syria so it has been doing everything possible to impede Russian-US cooperation, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov said at a meeting of the UN Security Council.
He slammed British Permanent Representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft who had said that Russia "had chosen the wrong side of history" by supporting Bashar al-Assad, whom he called "a murderous, barbaric criminal." He also said that supporting the Assad regime would result in "shame" and "humiliation" for Russia. At the same time, the British diplomat noted that Russia still had time to change its course and influence Damascus making it abide by the ceasefire.
The Russian deputy permanent representative pointed out that Rycroft's statement "shows that he thinks only about the ways to hamper" de Mistura's efforts, "prevent the political process from developing" and "create an atmosphere of confrontation and enmity in the Security Council." "The reason for all this is no secret for many in the United Nations headquarters, it is because you are afraid, you are losing sleep over the possibility that we will start cooperating with the United States. You are very much afraid of that, so you have been making every possible effort to disrupt our cooperation," the Russian diplomat added.
"Mr. Rycroft, today you departed from the agenda to insult Syria, Iran, Turkey and other states. Rules should be observed, it is unacceptable when representatives of the UN Security Council members show such irresponsibility and use dirty language. Don't you date insult Russia ever again!" Safronkov demanded.
According to him, the British diplomat "did not say anything about the political process" but put forward "offensive demands" for Russia, Iran and Turkey who are the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire. The Russian deputy envoy pointed out that Paris and London had been receiving members of illicit armed groups "many of which have been slaughtering Christians and people from other minorities in the Middle East, carrying out terrorist attacks on Orthodox churches on Palm Sunday." "Do you care for them? You are too tangled up in your regime-changing ideas," Safronkov said.
He called on the western countries to forget their "hubris and arrogance" and think about Syria's future as the country needed to be preserved as a united and secular state. According to the Russian envoy, Moscow takes seriously its obligations related to ensuring the Syrian ceasefire. "But you need to do your part," the Russian diplomat noted pointing to Russia's proposal to set up a coalition to do the demining work in Syria. However, as a response, the western counterparts began to blackmail Russia saying that first, the regime in Damascus needed to be changed, Safronkov said.
[Source: Itar Tass, United Nations, 12Apr17]
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