Russia: still chance for negotiated solution to Syria conflict

MOSCOW Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:29pm IST

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) shakes hands with U.N.-Arab League peace mediator Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, in Moscow December 29, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) shakes hands with U.N.-Arab League peace mediator Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, in Moscow December 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Related Topics

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)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

China Praised

China Praised

United States praises China's growing role in Afghanistan.  Full Article 

New MERS Cases

New MERS Cases

Saudi Arabia finds six new MERS cases as outbreak grows.  Full Article 

Hazing Death Case

Hazing Death Case

South Korean court-martial jails soldiers in hazing death case.  Full Article 

Fighting Ebola

Fighting Ebola

Why do some survive Ebola? Sierra Leone study offers clues.  Full Article | Related Story 

Famine Conditions

Famine Conditions

At least 3 million in Somalia in need of aid - U.N. Secretary General.  Full Article 

Islamic State Seige

Islamic State Seige

Kurdish convoy heads to Syria to take on Islamic State.  Full Article 

Tunisia Election

Tunisia Election

Tunisia's main secular party wins most seats - authorities.  Full Article 

Failed Launch

Failed Launch

Probe of Virginia rocket blast begins; space station supplied.  Full Article 

Active Volcano

Active Volcano

Hawaii lava crosses residential property, threatens more homes.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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