Deputy Russia FM: Western Mideast policies 'short-sighted'

AP News
Posted: May 22, 2015 4:56 AM

SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) — A deputy Russian foreign minister says external players cannot solve the Syria crisis and that "short-sighted'" Western policies in the Middle East have helped destabilize countries such as Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Vasily Nebenzya spoke Friday at a regional World Economic Forum conference.

Russia has been a key ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and has shielded him diplomatically.

Nebenzya says Assad has made mistakes, but is "being supported by a portion of the population."

The Russian diplomat says "it is difficult to imagine how the sides (in Syria) can talk these days," but that any solution is up to Syrians.

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In a reference to Western powers, he said external players involved in regional conflicts lack a clear strategy. He says he's been "puzzled by the short-sightedness."