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Forcible action in Syria would wreck chances for political resolution

September 02, 2013, 15:26 UTC+3

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes a military strike will do ruin chances for 'Geneva-2' conference

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MOSCOW, September 2 (Itar-Tass) - No alternative to political settlement exists in Syria, but U.S. use of force against Bashar Assad’s government may put up serious obstacles on this path to resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after meeting visiting South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Monday.

“We are still convinced that there is no alternative to political settlement. In this regard, I cannot believe that someone had doubted the need to convene a Geneva conference to fulfil the communique adopted June 30, 2012,” Lavrov said.

The minister noted that not only Russia, but also other members of the international community shared this conviction. “Even our U.S. partners, who decided to deliver a military strike on Syria based on some super-convincing and at the same time super-classified information which is impossible to show to anyone, even they prefer a political approach all the same. After they will have bombarded Syria, they are prepared to convene a conference that is dubbed as Geneva-2,” the minister added.

“I doubt strongly that the opposition will be more amenable after a military strike,” the minister said. “If military action stated by the U.S. president takes place, to our great misfortune, this will throw the prospects of a forum far behind, if not forever,” Lavrov said.

Russia is prepared to discuss the Syrian situation with the country’s partners on the international scene, including a G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Lavrov noted.

“The Group of Twenty was created to solve exclusively financial and economic problems,” Lavrov recalled. “The Syrian issue is not on the agenda of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg. But any leader can raise this issue. We will be prepared for these talks,” the minister added.

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