World | Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:29pm IST

Russia: still chance for negotiated solution to Syria conflict

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Saturday that a negotiated solution to the conflict in Syria is still possible but the international mediator struggling to end 21 months of bloodshed warned of "hell" unless a deal is struck.

Sergei Lavrov and Lakhdar Brahimi announced no major new initiatives after talks in Moscow and their remarks underscored the obstacles the U.N.-Arab League envoy faces in bringing about a solution.

"If the only alternative is hell or a political process, then all of us have to work continuously toward the political process," said Brahimi, adding it was still possible to reach "a solution that would work" but that the barriers were daunting.

"The chance for a political settlement remains and it is our obligation to make maximal use of that chance," Lavrov told reporters in a joint appearance after his talks with Brahimi, who met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier in the week.

Lavrov, whose country has blocked Western and Arab efforts in the U.N. Security Council to put pressure on Assad, repeated that Assad's exit must not be a precondition for a political process, saying such demands were "wrong" and counterproductive.

He said the refusal of the Syrian opposition National Coalition to talk to the Syrian leadership was a "dead-end position", and criticised the coalition leader for rebuffing an invitation for talks with Russia.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

World News

Reuters Showcase

Micromax Stake

Micromax Stake

SoftBank-led group in talks to buy stake in Micromax - sources  Full Article 

Plane Crash

Plane Crash

Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings plane on purpose, prosecutor says  Full Article 

Airwaves Auction

Airwaves Auction

Top three mobile operators spend $13.6 bln in airwaves auction  Full Article 

Twitter Video App

Twitter Video App

Twitter launches video streaming app Periscope  Full Article 

Yemen Attacked

Yemen Attacked

Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as Saudi Arabia keeps up air strikes on Houthi rebels  Full Article 

FIFA Politics

FIFA Politics

FIFA taking the wrong approach to development, says Prince Ali   Full Article 

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey to wind up after sixth season, producer says  Full Article 

Photo

Amazon Fashion

Indian designers will create new products for online shoppers: Amazon India fashion head  Full Article 

Australia Beat India

Australia Beat India

Smith shines as Australia down India to reach final  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage 

X