Russia against no-fly zone over Syria-Sky News Arabia
DUBAI (Reuters) - Russia rejects the idea of a no-fly zone over Syria, Sky News Arabia quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying in comments broadcast on Saturday.
No member of the United Nations Security Council has formally proposed a no-fly zone, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on August 11 that Washington and Turkey were looking at all measures to help Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, including a no-fly zone.
However, Sky News Arabia said on its website on Saturday that Lavrov and Russia were firmly opposed to such an idea.
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserted that his country rejects the imposition of any no-fly zone on Syria," the website said.
"This will be a violation of sovereignty if it included Syrian territory," it said in Arabic, quoting Lavrov.
No-fly zones imposed by NATO and Arab allies helped Libyan rebels overthrow Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Clinton's earlier remarks were the closest Washington has come to suggesting direct military intervention in Syria. But her suggestion that a no-fly zone might be an option has gained little traction so far.
Days after her comments, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said a no-fly zone over Syria was not a "front-burner" issue, while Turkish newspapers quoted the U.S. ambassador to Ankara as saying there were serious legal and practical obstacles to such an idea.
Lavrov also said the key to a solution in Syria was the Geneva accord, which calls for the creation of a national unity government in Syria.
International powers agreed in June that such a government should be set up in Syria to resolve the conflict between Assad and opposition forces trying to oust him.
(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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