US snub of Syria talks ‘proof of weakness in position’ – Duma speaker
State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin has told the press that no Russian parliamentary delegation is going to the United States to discuss the Syrian issue, adding that the US refusal to meet was regrettable.
“The unwillingness to listen to arguments on inter-parliamentary level testifies to the fact that our American partners themselves understand the weakness of their positions. In addition, this step characterizes their attitude to the norms of international law,” he said.
Naryshkin added that “the United States is used to considering the most important issues of other nations and of whole world’s regions to be their internal affairs, despite the fact that the current system of international law and the UN’s global security architecture have been built by the lengthy and thorough efforts of the whole international community on the basis of the results of WWII.”
He emphasized that it was extremely dangerous to neglect the valuable institutions and the system of guarantees built on the lessons taught by the greatest disaster of the 20th century. He again reminded that the international political organizations were created in order to save the world from future global disasters.
Later on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also expressed regret over the fact that the talks between Russian and US parliamentarians will not take place. “It is a great pity that the American congressmen would not be able to do that,” he told reporters.
On Monday this week the heads of the both chambers of the Russian parliament suggested that President Vladimir Putin hold bilateral talks with US lawmakers in order to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. Putin supported the initiative, calling it timely and correct, and adding that direct talks might help US politicians to hear firsthand arguments and understand Russian motives in the standoff.
By Tuesday, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko had sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggesting a meeting be called without delay to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian problem by common effort and as soon as possible.
According to Russian Senator Ilyas Umakhanov, initially the US official said that he was ready to assist the consultations between Russian and US lawmakers. However, by the end of the week CNN reported that Reid had turned down the Russian proposal.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner also turned down the Russian embassy’s request to directly meet with the parliamentary delegation.