Russian FM arrives in Damascus for talks with Syrian president
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus Tuesday along with Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service Director Mikhail Fradkov for talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the current situation in Syria Xinhua reported
Upon arrival, Lavrov's motorcade drove slowly through hundreds of thousands of Syrians who lined up along the highway leading to the presidential palace where the Russian top diplomat is due to meet with al-Assad.
The crowds were seen waving banners and the Syrian and Russian flags, in a show of gratitude to the double-veto by Russia and China that blocked a UN Security Council resolution against Syria.
Russia and China on Saturday vetoed an Arab-European draft resolution that backs an Arab League plan to promote a regime change in Syria. Russia said the draft contains imposition of conditions on the dialogue and called for measures to influence not only the government but also armed groups.
The double-veto has evoked the anger of the United States, along with its western backers in addition to much of the Arab countries, which introduced an Arab plan to the Security Council to gain its backing.
On Monday, Lavrov condemned the angry Western reaction to its veto as "hysteric" and emphasized his country's fixed position towards the situation in Syria.
He defended his country's veto, saying the draft resolution put too little pressure on the opposition and "armed extremists" that Moscow believes must share blame for the bloodshed.