Russia regrets U.S. postponement of Hague meeting on Syria

MOSCOW Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:10am EDT

Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov (L) arrives with Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov (L) arrives with Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva June 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday it regretted a decision by Washington to postpone talks on an international peace conference for Syria, underlining growing diplomatic tensions over the civil war.

The U.S. State Department said on Monday it had postponed the meeting between senior diplomats, scheduled for Wednesday in The Hague, because of "ongoing consultations" over an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

"It is regrettable that our partners decided to postpone the Russia-U.S. meeting on calling an international conference on Syria," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, who would have taken part in the talks, said on Twitter.

"Working out the political parameters for a resolution in Syria would be exceptionally useful now, when the threat of (military) force hangs over this country."

The United States has served Syrian President Bashar al-Assad notice that it believes he was responsible for chemical weapons being used against civilians last week.

Russia, Assad's key ally and arms supplier, says rebel forces may have been behind the attack and has urged Washington not to use military force against Assad.

The United States and Russia, which has protected Assad at the United Nations Security Council, agreed in May to try to arrange an international conference on ending the conflict in Syria but the chances of it happening are fading.

A senior State Department official said the United States would work with Russia to reschedule Wednesday's planned meeting and that the alleged chemical weapons attack demonstrated the need for a "comprehensive and durable political solution".

(Reporting by Timothy Heritage, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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Comments (2)
stambo2001 wrote:
So the USA postpones the meeting, and the USA pressures the UN to withdraw the chemical inspectors?

Aug 27, 2013 7:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
barenski wrote:
Russians are still pissed about Yugoslavia, theres no way of knowing how they’ll react if nato were to actually attack syria

Aug 27, 2013 8:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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