Russia blames militants for aid problems

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Tuesday, 19 November 2013

aidRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has blamed foreign-backed militants in Syria for creating hardships in delivering humanitarian aid to the Arab country.

Lavrov made the remarks in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper on Monday.

The number of different militant groups in Syria exceeds 100, “including hardcore terrorists who have been put on relevant lists” linked to al-Qaeda, he said, adding these groups often engage in heavy clashes with the so-called Free Syrian Army and other rival militant groups.

“Humanitarian aid becomes bounty in which they are interested. At this stage, the key problems in its delivery are being created by militants,” the Russian Foreign Minister added.

Lavrov’s remarks came as a Syrian delegation arrived in Moscow to hold talks with Russian officials over the upcoming international conference, dubbed as Geneva 2.

The Syria opposition has declared that it will attend the planned peace conference if the government opens humanitarian corridors for them.

However, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has announced that it will take part in the talks without any preconditions.

“The fact that the opposition, having agreed to attend the talks, is now setting some kind of humanitarian breakthrough as a condition for its participation is somewhat surprising and causes concern,” Lavrov also said.

“As practice shows, in nearly all cases, such corridors are used to transport not only humanitarian aid, but also weapons, money, and other forms of support to opponents of the regime,” he added.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

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