Lavrov warns against indifference to crisis in Syria, interference from outside

Russia considers an indifferent attitude toward the ongoing tragedy in Syria unacceptable but warns against interference in the conflict by siding with one of the conflicting parties, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a ministerial meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on Wednesday.

"The crisis in Syria has become one of the most pressing international problems," Lavrov said. "It is unacceptable either to look at this tragedy indifferently or to join the conflict by siding with any party."

"All external players, including the CICA members, should demand that all warring parties immediately stop bloodshed and make sure that the Syrians themselves - certainly without mercenaries - sit at the negotiating table and, without any interference from the outside, start jointly looking for national reconciliation on a collectively agreed-upon basis, such as UN Security Council decisions, the Kofi Annan plan, and the final communique of the ministerial meeting of the Action Group for Syria in Geneva," he said.

Moscow firmly supports UN and Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi's efforts based on these documents, he said.

The crisis in Syria is only a part of dramatic events in the Middle East region, "which are negatively affecting stability of many countries and, what is especially dangerous, are being used for provoking interethnic and interreligious clashes," Lavrov said.

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