Moscow Warns Against Escalation of Tensions on Syrian-Turkish Border

Lavrov says he expects the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons to be completed by mid-2014

Moscow said on Monday that the arising situation on the Syrian-Turkish borders requires unification of efforts to combat terrorism decisively, calling for self-restraint and deescalation.


"The news refers to an escalation in the situation on the borders during the latest days as fierce clashes are taking place between the Syrian army and gunmen from the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in Kassab," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, referring to the downing of a Syrian plane in the area while carrying out a combatant mission to pursue terrorists who infiltrated from borders.


"In this tense atmosphere, it is important to strictly adhere to the context of Geneva communiqué of June 30th, 2012," it added.


"We are still confident that solution to the crisis in Syria would be only realized through dialogue, not through military solutions."


The Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said it considered Sunday's attack as military aggression from theTurkish government against Syria’s sovereignty and the sanctity of its land in the Kassab area reflecting Turkey’s actual involvement in the events in Syria from the beginning of the crisis.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meanwhile said, he expects disposal of chemical weapons in Syria to be completed by mid 2014.


Meeting the Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Zümcü on Monday in the Hague, Lavrov said that the disposal of chemical weapons is progressing in an acceptable manner, voicing confidence that the deadline will be met and all chemical weapons will be removed from Syria by the middle of the year.


He invited Zümcü to visit Moscow next month, lauding his high level of professionalism and saying that the Syrian issue is in most need of such professionalism.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer





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