Russia insists foreign involvement in Syrian crisis unacceptable

2012-12-10 11:36:30 GMT2012-12-10 19:36:30(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Any fundamental decisions on changing Syria's political system must be made only by Syrians, Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

According to an online statement published by the ministry, UN and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria Lakdhar Brahimi held talks in Geneva on Sunday with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns over the crisis in Syria.

"The Russian decision to take part in the meeting was made on the basis of our deep concern with further aggravation of the situation in Syria," the ministry said.

Participants in the meeting agreed the armed conflict in Syria had become more dangerous, ruining the lives of civilians, infrastructure, and the country's cultural and historical heritage, the statement said.

"Common understanding was shown that there is an urgency to stop further militarization of the conflict and to put it on to a political track," it said.

Bogdanov reiterated Moscow's position there was no alternative to the agreements achieved following the Geneva conference in June.

"Fundamental decisions on reforming Syria's political system as a sovereign, integrated, independent state should be made by Syrians themselves with no outside involvement and no attempts to introduce ready-made recipes to the country's social-political development," the ministry said, adding Russia would support Brahimi's efforts.

Russia and the United States disagree over how to end the 20-month-long crisis. Washington says Russia protects Bashar al-Assad's government, while Moscow accuses the U.S. of encouraging the Syrian rebels to pursue regime change by force.

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