Russia PM slams 'unacceptable' support of Syria rebels

MOSCOW, Nov 26, 2012 (AFP) -Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev slammed as "unacceptable" the recognition and support by France and other states of the Syrian opposition battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
In a wide-ranging interview with Agence France-Presse and Le Figaro ahead of a visit to Paris starting Monday, Medvedev also spoke of the EU economic crisis as a "serious threat" and did not rule out returning to the Kremlin in the future.
Britain and France have joined Turkey and Arabian Peninsula states in recognising a newly formed opposition bloc as the sole representative of the Syrian people. Paris has also suggested arming the opposition fighters.
"From the point of view of international law, this is absolutely unacceptable," Medvedev said in the interview at his suburban Gorki residence.
"A desire to change the political regime of another state by recognising a political force as the sole carrier of sovereignty seems to me to be not completely civilized," he added.
France was the first Western state to recognise the newly-formed Syrian National Coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people and was swiftly joined by Britain, Italy and the European Union.
Paris has also raised the idea of excluding defensive weapons for the rebels from the current blanket EU embargo on Syria.
"Let the Syrian people decide the personal fate of Assad and his regime," said Medvedev. It is preferable if they (the opposition forces) came to power legally and not because of deliveries of arms from other countries," he said.

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