Skip to comments.Yevgeny Primakov: Russia's position on Syria is fair
Posted on 08/09/2012 8:02:20 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Russias position on Syria, although it may be not to its own advantage, is morally fair and the only right position in this situation. Thats the opinion of veteran Russian politician Yevgeny Primakov. A former prime minister and foreign minister, he said in an interview this week that had he still held office, he would have thrown his full weight behind Moscows stance. Russia does not set itself the goal of capitalizing on the Syrian conflict. Its deeply moral approach reflects sincere concern over the lives and safety of millions of people and over the future stability of the Middle East - the only possible approach in this situation.
The outcome is hard to predict and it remains to be seen whether Russia will prevail in its calls for a just and fair solution, Primakov said. He spoke about two major obstacles. One is a full-blooded civil war in Syria in which outside forces are also taking part. Yevgeny Primakov named them. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are financing all sorts of mercenaries and volunteers from other countries. They have all the assistance from Turkey. Whats more, U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to support the Syrian opposition, which is gross interference in the internal affairs of sovereign Syria, all the more so that Damascus poses no threat to the United States or any other country, Primakov said.
Another obstacle is worsening relations between Russia and a number of Arab countries. A significant number of the Arab Leagues member states back the anti-Assad opposition in Syria. They do not want Bashar Assad to win as they fear it might create conditions for a Shiite belt consisting of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Arab countries ruled by Sunnis are afraid of that.
If the armed opposition succeeds in toppling Assad, the Sunni regime will probably come in his stead. And that will inevitably lead to persecutions of Alawis, Christians, activists of the ruling Baath party all who do not share the oppositions views.
The following remark by Vemiamin Popov, director of the Center for the Partnership of Civilizations think-tank at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, gives a hint as to the possible scale of reprisals in the event of Bashar Assads overthrow.
"Half of the Syrian population supports the current regime. Various ethnic minorities account for one-third of the population: Alawis 12%, various branches of Christians 12%. There are Kurds and Druzes as well. The government has 30% of supporters among other stratas."
As for why Al Qaeda has been involved in the armed conflict and is fighting on the oppositions side, Yevgeny Primakov gave a simple answer because Al Qaeda is also a Sunni organization.
Talk of the West striving to establish democracy and stability in Syria by helping the opposition is absolutely void, he said.