Putin Insists He's Open-Minded on Syria

By Haaretz

Published June 26, 2012.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told senior Israeli officials on Monday that while he was not obligated to Syrian President Bashar Assad, he urged the West to think carefully before trying to remove him, a senior Israeli diplomatic sources said on Monday.

“We asked Putin for Russia to work more actively to preserve stability in Syria, to prevent biological and chemical weapons from falling into the hands of Hezbollah or other terror groups,” the source said. “Putin said that he is not obligated to Assad, but that Russia and Syria have strategic relations.”

Russia has to date expressed support for the Assad regime, despite the bloodbath the regime is conducting against his citizens.

During his meeting with President Shimon Peres, Putin discussed the possibility that a Western state would act to bring down the Assad regime in Syria.

“From my experience, one must think about the consequences of an act before doing it,” Putin was quoted as saying. “Look what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. With regard to Syria, one must think carefully whether the opposition that will rise to power will be what the West wants it to be, or whether it will end up being totally the opposite.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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