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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia Calls for Solving Syrian Crisis by "Forceps", Not "Ax"

RIA Novosti

17:34 19/05/2012

WASHINGTON, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will call its partners at the G8 summit for "not to try to cut the Syrian crisis knot by ax" but "use a forceps" to solve the conflict, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Russia's Federation Council Mikhail Margelov said on Saturday.

"The Syrian crisis could not be cut [like the Gordian knot] by ax, it could be disassembled by forceps," Margelov told a brief meeting.

More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011, the UN said.

Despite a month-old ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and the deployment of over 180 UN observers in flashpoint areas, clashes between the opposition forces and troops loyal to al-Assad continue.

Russia and China have twice vetoed the UN Security Council resolutions over what they called a pro-rebel bias since the start of the uprising against al-Assad, but have given their full backing to the peace plan proposed by Annan.

"The most important thing for Russia during discussion of the Syrian problem is to bring our concern to our partners which can be formulated as follows: if the current [Syrian] government resigns, who will replace them?" Margelov said.

"There should be no force change of regime in Syria. The Syrians should have an opportunity to solve their problems themselves," he added.

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