Russia sticks to support for Syrian ally Assad

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Russia sticks to support for Syrian ally Assad

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A day after his diplomatic mission to Syria, Russia’s Foreign Minister is sticking to his support for President Bashar al-Assad.

Sergei Lavrov said the outcome of any talks on ending the bloodshed must not be predetermined.

Speaking in Moscow, Lavrov also blamed both sides in the conflict for the violence, and warned of outside interference.

“Today on Euronews, I saw a represantative of the so-called Syrian Liberation Army who said in the microphone that they have been waiting for additional supplies of weapons from abroad to be able to continue their struggle,” Lavrov told a news conference after talks with his Pakistani counterpart.

“That means that not only peaceful citizens are involved but also armed forces fighting against the government. Not to accept this fact and to present the situation as if Assad’s forces are just killing peaceful demonstrators, is just incredible. And generally, a half truth is always even worse than a lie”.

A warm welcome greeted Lavrov in Damascus on Tuesday.

Russia, a big arms supplier to Syria, vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution supporting an Arab League call for Assad to quit.