Political settlement in Syria still possible: Russia
Xinhua | 2012-12-30 9:45:59
By Agencies
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With mounting crisis and escalating conflicts in Syria, there were still chances for all sides to reach a political settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

Following his talks with visiting UN-Arab League joint envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the two diplomats agreed the chances remained for a political settlement despite tense situation in Syria and growing civilian casualties, Lavrov told reporters.

"Our common duty is to use this chance to the maximum degree," he added.

Russia believed the Geneva communique remained a basis for the political settlement in the crisis, Lavrov said, adding Brahimi conducted his "shuttle diplomacy" following particularly the Geneva agreements.

Meanwhile, Russia denied allegations that Moscow has been directly involved in the military conflicts in Syria.

Russia did not deliver offensive weapons or anything that was used in the current civil war, or send Russian commandos on the ground, Lavrov said.

With rising terrorists activities in Syria, Moscow called for the return of UN observers to the conflict-torn country and suggested "a substantial increase in their number," said the top Russian diplomat.

The international community could help stabilize the situation and launch the dialogue with the return of UN observers, he said.

During Brahimi's visit in Damascus earlier this week, he called for the forming of a government with all powers which would assume power during a period of transition.

The transitional period must not lead to the collapsing of the state's institutions, said the UN mediator.

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Posted in: Mid-East

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