No breakthrough in GCC-Russia talks on Syria

November 15, 2012 - 5:07:13 am

RIYADH: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the bloodshed in Syria as “outrageous” yesterday and urged opponents of President Bashar Al Assad inside and outside the country to form a united front to end the crisis.

Lavrov met with foreign ministers of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for more than two hours in Riyadh but failed to reach common ground on how to end the bloodshed that has claimed more than 38,000 lives in Syria.

Qatar’s Prime Mnister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani said no breakthrough was made in the talks.

“We have spoken at length on the situation in Syria and how to find solutions,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem told journalists after the talks. “We have a point of view and our friends in Russia have a point of view and they did not converge.”

Lavrov was hoping to raise Moscow’s profile in a region where its influence is at risk after blocking three United Nations resolutions meant to put pressure on Assad to end the bloodshed.

“We believe the bloodshed should be stopped,” Lavrov told a joint news conference with the Bahraini Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed 

Al Khalifa, after the talks in the Saudi capital. 

“What is happening in Syria is outrageous,” he added, speaking through an interpreter.