Russia criticizes Obama’s decision to recognize Syrian opposition
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
December 12th, 2012
09:26 AM ET

Russia criticizes Obama’s decision to recognize Syrian opposition

By Jill Dougherty

Russia’s foreign minister is criticizing President Barack Obama’s decision to recognize the Syrian opposition, saying “the U.S. apparently has decided to bet solely on the armed victory of this national coalition.”

Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday that Moscow was “somewhat surprised” by Obama’s statement that the U.S. recognizes the Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, in opposition to the Assad regime.

“None of the U.S. decisions here should be of any surprise to the Russian Federation. We have been very clear at all levels, publicly and privately, that we would continue to look for ways to support the political opposition in Syria,” a Senior State Department offical told CNN.

Announcing his decision in an interview Tuesday with ABC’s Barbara Walters, Obama said, "We've made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population” to recognize them. But the Russian foreign minister argues that U.S. recognition “contradicts the agreements in the Geneva communiqué, which presume beginning an all-Syrian dialogue among representatives named by the government, on the one hand, and the opposition, on the other.”

The Geneva agreement, worked out by Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in June, laid out a plan for negotiations between the opposition and the government that would, in turn, create a transitional governing authority, followed by elections. But Lavrov balked at a U.S. demand that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad step aside. In recent weeks, the special envoy to Syria from the United Nations and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi, has revived the Geneva agreement, and he met again last week with Lavrov and Clinton to promote it as a possible solution.

The Russian foreign minister, however, points to the Syrian opposition’s “manifesto,” which, he said, states that its main objective is to “overturn the regime, dismantle government institutions and refuse dialogue with the Syrian government.”

“We inquired with our American partners as to how that conforms with the logic of the Geneva communiqué,” Lavrov said, “and they told us that the most important thing is to unite the opposition, and its platform can, quote, ‘be corrected.’ ”

“But,” he added, “to all appearances, they have decided not to correct it.”

Lavrov’s meeting with Clinton had revived hope that Russia might be open to exerting pressure on al-Assad to step aside, but Lavrov’s statements appear to dash that expectation - for now - with the foreign minister criticizing the U.S. decision to recognize the opposition as an “unexpected U-turn.”

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Matt

    I agree we do have no right over there until......... Assad uses chemical weapons.... I dont think then that Mr. Putin will disagree with raining a little hell over there in syria....

    December 13, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
  2. wjmccartan

    Lavrov can't think that anyone will take what he has to say seriously after everything they haven't done to help bring peace to Syria, he can go ***k his hat. When they are willing to be part of a solution then the Russians, will have a place at the table. Right now all their trying to do is keep a customer of their weapons in place. Between Syria and Iran they spend billions and that goes to the Russian oligarchy.

    December 13, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  3. Rick

    I think recognizing a motley group of terrorists, foreign fighters and islamists as a "legitimate" government in Syria should be criticized.

    December 13, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
  4. Bobby Jones

    Nice case of herpes he has going on there, it appears.

    December 13, 2012 at 4:03 am | Reply
  5. helenecha

    The first man who eats crab is the poor, the second is the middle class, the third is the rich and the last is the baby. Man who never eats crab is the alien.

    December 13, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
  6. khgfhkgkhfhkh

    IF YOU WANT TO BLAME RELIGION MORE POWER TO YOU THERE IS ALWAYS THAT GAME BEING PLAYED BUT LETS ALL AGREE ON ONE THING e.g. WHAT A TERRORIST IS

    December 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  7. khgfhkgkhfhkh

    IF YOU WANT TO CONNECT THE DOTS FURTHER WE SEE ALL SORTS OF DISTRACTIONS MAYBE THAT WILL BE BEST SERVED BY HISTORIANS MAYBE NOT

    December 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  8. khgfhkgkhfhkh

    BEFORE EVERYONE HAS A PROVERBIAL PITY PARTY & PLAYS BLAME THE SOLUTION NOT THE PROBLEM GAME REMEMBER HOW THIS STARTED i.e. WITH SYRIAN CIVILIANS PROTESTING THEIR OWN GOV. A BRUTAL DICTATOR WAGING WAR ON HIS OWN CITIZENS RUSSIA & CHINA STOPING THE DIPLOMATIC PROCESS THEN TERRORISTS MOVING TO SYRIA SETTING UP THEIR OWN TERRORIST COMMUNITY INSIDE A CIVIL WAR TORN LANDSCAPE CALLING IT PARIDISE IN THE PROCESS THUS UNDERMINING BOTH ASSAD AND THE SYRIAN PEOPLES ASPERATIONS FOR A REPRESENTATIVE GOV. THIS IS WHERE WE ARE TODAY BEFORE EVEN TALKING ABOUT IRANS UNDERMINING EFFORTS WITH BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN SYRIA TAKING OVER WMD TO BAIT THE U.S. INTO ANOTHER WAR IN THE REGION BY THREATINING TO WIPE ANY SYRIAN CIVILIAN NOT IN ASSADS CULT OFF THE MAP WITH WMD WHILE PRETENDING/BLAMING ASSADS SELF INFLICTED MENTAL PROBLEMS.

    December 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  9. Milagros

    Russia? Who cares?

    December 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

      Couldn't have defeated the Nazi's without them.

      December 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        How true that is, Star-Spangled Bullsh!t. In fact, neither the defeat of the Afrika Korp nor D-Day would have been possible without the Russian Front! Unfortunately, too many people both here and in England still live in denial of this fact.

        December 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • Rick

        Bah, Germany was already defeated in 1943 after the battle of Kursk, long before we stormed the beaches of Normandy. We were lucky the Germans were shorthanded and only put Czech conscripts and a skeleton crew on the beaches instead of fully trained Wermacht, otherwise we would have been swimming home to the UK

        December 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
      • wjmccartan

        Actually I think Patton was right, once the Germans were defeated the Allies should have destroyed Russia, it would have saved the world so much trouble.

        December 13, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  10. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    December 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  11. jbfthjgrhjjhvfg

    SATAN LIVES...

    December 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  12. jbfthjgrhjjhvfg

    I BELIVE CHINA TOLD N. KOREA TO LAUNCH MISSLES AS N. KOREA IS WORKING FOR CHINA

    December 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  13. jbfthjgrhjjhvfg

    I BELIVE PUTIN WOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS AND ASSAD WOULD HAVE BLESSED THE MOVE SOME TIME AGO...GO FIGURE...

    December 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  14. jbfthjgrhjjhvfg

    IRAN IS IN CONTROL OF AT LEAST SOME OF SYRIAN WMD FACILITYS?

    December 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  15. saveyourfeet

    Interesting. What I care about is this: I am a type 1 diabetic. My feet were going to be amputated. until I found a simple way to stop that from happening. if you are a diabetic you need to read saveyourfeetDOTwordpressDOTcom

    December 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  16. gigi

    Christ is coming soon! we just need to accept him as our saviour.. things are going to get worst and God has already told us about all this things in teh bible.
    Do you want to know God?

    Do you yearn to experience the Lord’s comforting presence, power, and wisdom? That’s good, because God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you forever.

    The problem is . . .

    . . . one thing separates you from a relationship with God—sin. You and I sin whenever we fail to live by the Lord’s holy standard. In fact, Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

    Furthermore, Romans 6:23 explains that the penalty for sin is death—separation from God in hell forever. No matter how hard we try, we cannot save ourselves or get rid of our sins. We can’t earn our way to heaven by being good, going to church, or being baptized (Eph. 2:8-9).

    Understanding how helpless we are because of our sins, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us.

    Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Rom. 5:8). Three days later, He rose from the dead—showing that He had triumphed over sin and death once and for all.

    So how can you know God?

    It all starts with accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ provides a relationship with the Father and eternal life through His death on the cross and resurrection (Rom. 5:10).

    Romans 10:9 promises, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you have not yet begun your personal relationship with God, understand that the One who created you and loves you no matter who you are or what you’ve done. He wants you to experience the profound depth of His care.

    Therefore, tell God that you are willing to trust Him for salvation. You can tell Him in your own words or use this simple prayer:

    Lord Jesus, I ask You to forgive my sins and save me from eternal separation from God. By faith, I accept Your work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. Thank You for providing the way for me to know You and to have a relationship with my heavenly Father. Through faith in You, I have eternal life. Thank You also for hearing my prayers and loving me unconditionally. Please give me the strength, wisdom, and determination to walk in the center of Your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

    If you have just prayed this prayer—congratulations!

    You have received Christ as your Savior and have made the best decision you will ever make—one that will change your life forever!

    Please let us know by emailing us at decision@intouch.org so we can rejoice with you.

    December 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      Right on gigi, this country does need God judging by the wickedness of the current leaders in Washington with their aggressive foreign policies. There is nothing holy about killing for a profit, nothing at all!

      December 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • The pacific

      Holy cow! We do not to worship tinker bells any more. Your imaginary friend is part of the problem.

      December 13, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply
  17. George Patton

    I agree 100% with Sergei Lavrov on this. The right-wing thugs in Washington have absolutely no right to interfere in Syria's civil war, let alone decide it's future!!! Enough of this nonsense already!

    December 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • ?

      Yes, Obama is quite the right-wing thug.

      December 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • Amit-Atlanta-USA

        That he is ?, that he is! His foreign policies say it all by taking over one country after another just like Bush's did before him. Actions do speak louder than words!

        December 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • The pacific

      When did you have a brain surgery?

      December 13, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • Rick

      Bush's policies are Obama's policies. Neoconservatives still rule the roost in Washington.

      December 13, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
  18. Hahahahahaha

    Come on mother russia! We just want the Towel Heads to kill themselves. Just like you!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahah

    December 12, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
  19. Bangash

    This is indeed very unfortunate that USA, being the lone super power has got the right to move forward with their new world order plan. In Afghanistan Alqaida is an enemy while in Middle East an ally. Libya has been handed over and Syria is on line. Peaceful transition as agreed with Russian is against the interest of USA, as destruction of existing military structure and then reorganization of new army on American lines, arming them with American weapons from MIC is the real motive which they will like to achieve at any cost. UN, Russia and rest of the world has neither courage nor the right to talk of peace in the world.

    December 12, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • Lt.Col Brad Beauman

      Now that's one of the most sensible comments here yet. Thank you, Bangash.

      December 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  20. Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

    Nice to see that not everyone is so eager to kiss America's morbidly obese, pimply @ss.

    December 12, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      Thank you, I feel exactly the same way!

      December 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply

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