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

AP News
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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.

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."