Moscow criticizes U.S. ambassador's remarks on Geneva Communique

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has said he is hopeful that statements made by U.S. Ambassador to Damascus Robert Ford regarding the situation in Syria and the Geneva Communique do not reflect the U.S. State Department's official view on the situation in the country.

"We do not know whether it was accidental that this political pamphlet was published on the day when the new U.S. secretary of state was confirmed. I would like to hope that it was simply a coincidence, not a program statement on Syria by the U.S. Department of State," Lukashevich said, commenting on Ambassador Ford's interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper.

The Russian Foreign Ministry treats this interview as further evidence that some of our partners "are still trying to influence public opinion in Arab countries and, primarily, Syrian opposition activists and their sponsors," the diplomat said.

These remarks are aimed at creating an atmosphere of rejection of any chance for a political settlement in Syria in accordance with the decisions adopted by the Action Group for Syria at its meeting in Geneva on June 30, 2012, Lukashevich said.

"No one in Geneva put this question as Mr. Ambassador is attempting to put it: either Bashar al-Assad's voluntary surrender or a military solution. Rather, the meeting addressed the possibility of dialogue between all sides in the conflict without preconditions. The interpretation of the letter and spirit of the Geneva Communique given by Mr. Ambassador was so loose that it totally distorted its meaning. As a matter of fact, it was a deliberately dishonest interpretation of the document, which took us all, including American representatives, so long to draft," Lukashevich said.

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