May 30, 2013 / 3:43 PM / 7 years ago

Russia criticises U.S. refusal to rule out Syria no-fly zone

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Washington’s statement that no-fly zones in Syria remained an option was among decisions that “create an unfavourable atmosphere” for peace talks proposed by the United States and Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry also criticized opposition calls for President Bashar al-Assad’s exit from power, the European Union’s decision to let an arms embargo lapse, and a U.N. Human Rights Council declaration it said put too much blame on Syria’s government.

“The combination of these decisions ... makes one doubt the sincerity of the desire of some of our international and regional partners for the success of international efforts to foster a political solution (in Syria),” it said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on May 7 they would try to bring Syrian government and opposition representatives together as soon as possible for talks aimed at ending the 26-month-old conflict.

No date has been set for the conference. Lavrov on Thursday accused the opposition Syrian National Coalition of undermining peace efforts by saying it would take part only if a deadline was set for a settlement that would force Assad to leave power.

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Alison Williams

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