Russia to boycott "one-sided" Friends of Syria meeting
Published Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Russia on Tuesday said it would skip the second "Friends of Syria" conference to be held this weekend in Istanbul, saying the meeting openly sided with the regime's opposition.
"The first such meeting was staged on February 24 in Tunis without our involvement," foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters.
"This time we again intend to refrain from being involved, even though we received the corresponding invitation."
US Secretary Hillary Clinton has confirmed her attendance on Sunday. The meeting is expected to approve a joint US-Turkish initiative to provide medical and other "non-lethal" aid such as communication equipment to the rebels.
Lukashevich said "meetings of this type unfortunately tend to be one-sided" and do little to help end the year-long crisis through negotiations.