|Moscow regrets US scrubbing Syria meeting
Russia said it regretted a decision by the US to shelve a meeting on Syria this week, as Washington signaled intention to take military action.
“It arouses regret that our partners decided to cancel the bilateral meeting'' involving senior diplomats from both sides in The Hague, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on Twitter.
He added such talks would have been particularly useful at a time “when military action is hanging over this country.’’
Western countries including the United States are considering their response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by President Bashar al-Assad's forces on August 21.
Russia has said it believes rebels were behind the incident and has warned any military action without UN approval would violate international law.
US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Ambassador Robert Ford were due to meet with a Russian delegation in The Hague to discuss progress towards organizing a peace conference on Syria.
A senior US State Department official said that the sides would work to “reschedule'' the meeting although Gatilov said the encounter had simply been cancelled.
“Working out the parameters of a political solution in Syria would have been especially helpful right now, when military action is hanging over this country,'' Gatilov said on Twitter.
The comments came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned the “hysteria'' over the attack and said Western countries have yet to come up with any proof that Assad’s forces were responsible.—AFP