Russia warns West over Syria moves
MOSCOW (AP) -- A senior Russian diplomat has warned the West against trying to predetermine a future leadership of Syria.
Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Twitter Friday that such attempts would contradict guidelines for a political transition in Syria approved in Geneva in June.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that the administration would push for a shakeup in the Syria opposition leadership so that it better represents fighters on the frontline. Washington believes that a revamped rebel leadership could rally wider international support and prevent extremists from hijacking the rebellion.
Russia has been the main supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, shielding it from U.N. sanctions over a crackdown on the 19-month uprising, in which at least 36,000 people have been killed, according to opposition activists.