Russia blasts on US double standard policy over Syrian peace progress

Eurasia News

The US-Russian initiative for a comprehensive peace conference to resolve the Syrian crisis needs honest effort of those involved. But some nations apparently try to undermine the effort to call the meeting, says the Russia’s foreign minister.

On Wednesday, the US, Turkey and Qatar pushed through a UN resolution condemning the Syrian government for the alleged use of foreign fighters against rebel forces in the battle for the strategic town of Qusair.

The document calls for an investigation into the matter as well as more aid access and protections for the civilian population of Syria.

The ‘foreign fighters’ in question are from the Lebanese Shia movement, Hezbollah, which backed Syrian president, Bashar Assad, fearing that if his regime falls, Lebanon will become Al-Qaeda’s next target.

35 of the body’s members voted in favour of the resolution, with 8 abstentions and Venezuela being the only state to speak against the document.

After the resolution was adopted, the US State Department called on Hezbollah to “immediately” withdraw its fighters from Syria, with spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, labelling their involvement in the country as “unacceptable” and “dangerous”.

Earlier that day, the Russian foreign minister warned against the resolution, which he says may threaten a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict.

Lavrov also explained that the primary focus of Hezbollah fighters in Syria as stated by the leadership is the protection of the Shia population and holy sites from the threat posed by Sunni rebel forces. He said it indicates that the Syrian conflict is increasingly characterized by sectarian confrontation, a development which Russia has long warned against.

Russia and the US have diverged in their position over the end of  EU’s embargo on delivery of arms to Syria this week, which may open the door for direct arming of rebel groups by European nations. Washington praised the development, saying it gives Europe more flexibility and ramps up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Meanwhile, UN human rights Chief Navi Pillay has urged not to supply weapons to Syria, but push the two sides to find a political solution.