Russian arms will 'only prolong' Syria violence: US

30th May 2013, Comments 0 comments

The United States said Thursday that Russian arms supplies to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad "will only prolong the violence" in the war-torn country.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on Assad's suggestion in an interview to be aired Thursday that his regime has received advanced S-300 air defense missiles promised by Russia.

But she said: "Our concerns about Russia's continued support for the Syrian regime through the provision of arms and access to Russian banks are well known."

"Providing additional weapons to Assad -- including air defense systems -- will only prolong the violence in Syria and incite regional destabilization," she added.

"We want to work with Russia to try to resolve this crisis and hasten a political solution," she said.

"It is Russia's responsibility to convince Assad to appoint an empowered team to negotiate the transfer of his full executive powers to a transitional governing body, just as we are working to do with the opposition."

© 2013 AFP

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