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Russian envoy slams reports of his meetings on Syria as "blatant lies"

(Xinhua)

08:17, February 08, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin on Tuesday slammed some news reports about his meetings with the Qatari foreign minister here on Syria as "blatant lies" that are "dirty," "provocative" and intended to "drive a wedge between Russia and the Arab world."

Churkin told a press conference here that some media carried what he called "incredible reports" about his meetings with Qatari Prime Minster and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al- Thani, who was at the UN Headquarters a few days ago to seek support from the Security Council for an Arab League plan to demand Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

"This is with regard to some incredible reports which have surfaced from various sources, some Arab sources, Internet sources from the Arab world about my meetings with the prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar here last week," Churkin said.

"According to those reports, they give some rather graphic details of the rude things I said to the prime minister of Qatar and threats I've made, et cetera, et cetera," the Russian diplomat said. "I've been dealing with the media for over a quarter of a century, and I've not said anything like that. There is misinformation. There are lies, there are blatant lies."

"So it's just dishonest and dirty and provocative of course," he said, without mentioning the names of any news media carrying such reports.

According to the senior Russian diplomat, those reports said that he threatened the Qatari leader during their meetings here.

Churkin denied the reports, stressing: "I did not use any threat during the meetings. It's not my style."

He said that he did not even use "a hint of threat" during the meetings.

"There was not even a hint of any threats, intimidation, rudeness from me or from the prime minister of Qatar," Churkin said.

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