Russian President Condemns Attack on U.S. Diplomats in Libya

Russian President Condemns Attack on U.S. Diplomats in Libya
# 13 September 2012 19:51 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned on Thursday a recent attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya, and urged governments to react toughly and timely to provocations against people’s religious sentiments, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed on Tuesday in an attack on the U.S. consulate building in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi by an armed mob angry over a U.S.-produced film that is considered by Muslims to be insulting to Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

“We condemn this crime and offer our condolences to the victims’ families,” Putin told reporters at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

“The safety of diplomats is protected by international conventions and if someone fails to recognize this, it means that they put themselves outside the framework of the law and outside the framework of modern civilization," Putin said.

At the same time, the Russian president said "religious feelings of people of all beliefs must be handled very carefully" and government reactions to religious provocation must be "tough and timely," otherwise the people who feel offended will take matters into their own hands to defend their interests and views.

Anti-American riots continued on Thursday across the Middle East, with at least one death reported near the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and scores of people injured in clashes between police and protesters near the U.S. Embassy in Egypt.

Putin also used the opportunity to reiterate his argument that the West should not support popular uprisings against dictatorships in the Middle East because this could have unpredictable and hazardous consequences.

“We do not support any armed groups that attempt to resolve internal political problems by violent means,” Putin said.

“We do not understand these people’s final goals, and we are always worried about the possibility that if we support these armed groups, we could ultimately find ourselves in a deadlock situation,” the Russian leader said. “We fear that the region could fall into chaos and that is exactly what’s happening.”

Putin expressed hope that the recent tragedy would convince Western countries to intensify coordinated efforts with Russia in the joint fight against extremism and common threats.