GCC and Russia fail to make breakthrough on Syria
November 16, 2012
RIYADH – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Russia failed to make any significant breakthrough in their talks on Syria here early Thursday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with GCC foreign ministers for more than two hours in Riyadh but failed to reach common ground on how to end the bloodshed that has claimed more than 38,000 lives in Syria.
Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani told reporters that no breakthrough was made in the talks.
“We have spoken at length on the situation in Syria and how to find solutions. We have a point of view and our friends in Russia have a point of view and they do not converge,” he said.
In a joint press conference with Lavrov, the head of the current session of Ministerial Council of the GCC states and Foreign Minister of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa said that the GCC has emphasized its committed position on the necessity of the UN Security Council to bear its responsibility to maintain peace and stability and issue an effective international resolution.
“The resolution we are looking for is the one which leads to an immediate end to the fighting and the killing machine of the Syrian regime, leading to a peaceful transfer of power in response to the aspirations of the Syrian people,” he said.
Sheikh Al-Khalifa expressed the hope of GCC states to work hand-in-hand with Russia to support the National Coalition of the Revolution and Opposition Forces formed after a meeting in Doha as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
However, Lavrov said that there was no need for a new UN Security Council resolution on Syria and that the Geneva Declaration was sufficient.
The Russian foreign minister urged all Syrian opposition groups to unite and set up a team to negotiate with the Syrian government. Lavrov said that the atrocities committed in Syria were from all sides and that the “outrageous” bloodshed must stop.
Participants in the meeting agreed on continuing to work to remove obstacles and iron out differences by continuous consultations and meetings on all levels.