BRICS foreign ministers discuss need for peaceful solution in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met with his counterparts from the other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) member states in New York, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website on Thursday.

"The situation in and around Syria dominated the agenda of the discussion. BRICS partners expressed their concern over the escalation of armed violence and the degrading humanitarian situation in this country. They stressed that a solution to the conflict ought to rule out any outside intervention and attempts to impose any position on one of the sides," the ministry said.

"The participants in the meeting underscored the need to reinforce the UN presence in Syria and announced their support for the mission of recently appointed UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. The ministers exchanged opinions and adopted a joint statement," it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated that a solution to the Syrian crisis could be achieved only by stopping the violence and launching broad political dialogue, which would heed the interests of all Syrians and would respect the country's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The BRICS member countries' approach to the "responsibility to protect" concept was discussed as well.

"The Russian minister stressed that, in accordance with 2005 World Summit resolutions, states bear the greatest responsibility for protecting their population. International assistance should primarily be of a peaceful nature and should be governed by the potential of Article VI of the UN Charter. The use of military force could be justified only in exceptional cases and requires exclusive permission from the UN Security Council. The participants in the discussion said that the BRICS states should work together to make sure that the "responsibility to protect" idea pursues purely peaceful and humanitarian goals," the ministry said.

The foreign ministers also discussed the possibility of mutual support for BRICS member states' initiatives proposed by them at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.

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