Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes Western politicians have started to realize that overthrowing Assad’s government might lead to a worsening of the Syrian crisis, the official Russain News agency RT reports.
“The attitudes are changing in Western countries, they are becoming more realistic in their approach towards settling the Syrian crisis,” said Lavrov. “The threat of terrorism in Syria, the threat of jihadists coming to power, the threat of creating a caliphate with extremist rules, the threat of violating the rights of minorities, or even depriving them of life, are the main problems.”
He also said “understanding that changing the regime is not the way to solve this problem” but a way to “facilitate the arrival of jihadists to power.”
What worries Sergey Lavrov is that his “Western colleagues are trying to ‘flirt’ with the so-called Islamic front,” which has been struggling for influence through the Free Syrian Army. Lavrov believes the Islamic front could be ideologically close to such Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist groups as Al-Nusra.
Lavrov also said comments from some Western leaders that Assad doesn’t represent anybody in his country were premature. “A large part of the population is for Assad for various reasons, not just because he enjoys the love of the people, but because big groups of people depend on him, and not only minorities, even the Sunni,” said Lavrov, adding that many are afraid of being deprived of their business should there be a violent change of power.