SNC Leader Meets with U.S., Russia, Iran
Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during an international security conference in Munich today. Following the meeting, Biden emphasized U.S. support for the Syrian opposition. He said, “The opposition continues to grow stronger. And as the Syrian people have their chance to forge their own future, they will continue to find a partner in the United States of America.” The meeting between the two leaders was viewed by some as an indication that the United States is increasing its support for the Syrian opposition.
Al-Khatib also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. ”Russia has a certain vision but we welcome negotiations to alleviate the crisis and there are lots of details that need to be discussed,” al-Khatib said after the meeting. He also stated that Lavrov invited him to visit Moscow. This was the opposition leader’s first direct talk with the foreign minister. Although al-Khatib met with leaders from both Russia and the U.S., there was little indication that the two powers were any closer to agreeing with each other on a solution to the conflict.
Al-Khatib also announced that he will meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, later in the weekend “to discuss finding a way to remove the regime with the least possible bloodshed and loss of life.” However, Saeed Jalili, head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, pledged Iran’s full and continued support for Assad’s government in a statement today. ”We will give all our support so that Syria remains firm and able to face all the arrogant (Western powers’) conspiracies,” he said.