Russia’s foreign minister has called for an Arab League solution to solve the crisis in Syria. Speaking after talks in Damascus with Bashar al-Assad, Sergei Lavrov said the president was ready to seek dialogue with all poltical groups.
Although he failed to reveal when exactly when that might occur, Lavrov did say that Assad was “completely committed to stopping violence regardless of where it came from.”
“In order to ensure this Assad wants to expand the Arab League mission and ensure it’s able to go to all the flashpoints in the country,” he added.
He also spoke of scheduling a constitutional referendum within the coming days.
Russia gave no indication that it backs the Arab League’s call for Assad to leave office. Evidence of Russia’s renewed popularity in Syria was all too clear prior to Lavrov’s arrival. Thousands of people took to the streets to show their support for the country they see as showing solidarity with them.
France and Italy have now joined a growing number of countries that have withdrawn their envoys from Damascus as they seek fresh sanctions against the regime.