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Attempts to justify use of force in Syria counterproductive — Lavrov

May 23, 2014, 15:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian minister of foreign affairs once again stressed that there was no alternative to peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict

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MOSCOW, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described the attempts to use the humanitarian crisis in Syria for justifying external interference as counter-productive.

“There is no alternative to peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis,” Lavrov said at the 3rd Moscow International Security Conference on Thursday.

“Yesterday our UN Security Council partners put to vote a draft resolution connected with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter as the groundwork for using force against Damascus,” he said.

“There are no doubts that this would be the first step towards justifying external interference. It was clear from the comments that co-authors of the resolution had made at the Security Council session. By realizing the consequences Russia and China vetoed the resolution,” Lavrov said.

Russia calls for “resuming the Geneva negotiations and continuing the inter-Syrian dialogue in compliance with the coordinated agenda that calls for ceasing violence and fighting terrorism”, he said.

At the G8 summit in Lough Erne in 2013 the great powers’ leaders adopted a statement to urge the Syrian government and the opposition to join efforts for fighting terrorism without any preconditions.

“It is necessary to fulfill this obligation and we’re seeking this due to growing terrorist activities in Iraq, Iran and other countries,” Lavrov said.

“By discussing problems of transition period the Syrian parties should search for compromises on the basis of mutual accord without any ultimatums,” he said.

“Our Western colleagues and certain countries in North Africa and the Middle East disagree that it is time to resume efforts for holding talks. Some of them continue staking on the use of force. I’m confident this way has no prospects,” Lavrov said.

Russia proposes to use positive experience of local reconciliations. Lavrov cited as an example the liberation of the city of Homs under an agreement between militants and government forces.

Such practice should be used in other regions, he said.

“To this end, external players’ support is indispensable. They should recognize that the regime, which is blamed for all problems, is broadly supported by the population. That is why there is no alternative to dialogue with the participation of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad’s government,” Lavrov said.

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