Syrian President Bashar Assad assured Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that he is "completely committed" to seeking an end to violence by both side, Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying on Tuesday.Of course, Assad has no interest in stepping down or ending the violence in any way other than completely crushing those opposed to him, so these statements are laughable on their face. This is all about getting more time in which Assad could crush the opposition.
Lavrov also said that Assad, 11 months into a revolt against his rule, stated he was ready to seek dialogue with all political groups.
According to the Russian foreign minister, Assad added that he is ready to accept an expanded Arab League mission in his violence-torn country and schedule a constitutional referendum.
All the while, the Russians and Chinese continue thwarting action at the United Nations, and even the Turkish government is getting antsy over the situation. After all, Turkey has a long border with Syria, and there's the potential for a spillover effect where refugees cross into Turkey or opposition groups seek shelter among Turkish sympathizers leading to military confrontations.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was expected to travel to the United States on Wednesday for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton said on Sunday the United States would work with other nations to try to tighten sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and deny it arms in the absence of a U.N. resolution.
U.S. officials have said they were now gauging the prospects for a group of like-minded countries to coordinate support for Syria's political opposition, a move that could bypass Russian and Chinese resistance to anti-Assad measures.
Such an undertaking might be modeled loosely after the contact group that oversaw international assistance to rebels that overthrew Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Even as the diplomatic corps continues their actions, Assad's security forces continue shelling the City of Homs and the casualties are piling up.