Russia, China and their partners in the BRICS group of emerging economies urged Syria to start talks with the opposition and warned against foreign intervention without U.N. backing, Russia said, ahead of an Arab League deadline to Damascus on Friday.
In a carefully worded statement after consultations on Thursday in Moscow, the five nations did not mention the Arab League threat to introduce sanctions over Syria's crackdown on protests if Damascus does not sign a deal to let monitors in.
The meeting brought together deputy foreign ministers from Russia and China, which last month vetoed a Western-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria's government, as well as Brazil, India and South Africa, which abstained.
They "underscored that the only acceptable scenario for resolving the internal crisis in Syria is the immediate start of peaceful talks with the participation of all sides, as the Arab League initiative says," the Foreign Ministry statement said.
"Any external intervention that does not correspond with the United Nations Charter must be ruled out."
Referring to the entire Middle East and North Africa region, the communiqué said BRICS nations noted "the need for the complete adherence to human rights by all sides, in particular the authorities, in regard to protecting unarmed civilians," but they laid no specific blame on any side in Syria.
BRICS countries have reiterated call for preventing any foreign interference in the Syrian internal affairs.
Deputy foreign ministers of BRICS countries stressed in a joint statement in Moscow on Thursday the importance of preventing any foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs unless it complies with the UN Charter, emphasizing that the sole form for solving the internal crisis is starting all-inclusive negotiations as to meet the aspirations of the Syrians.
The statement indicated to the international community's experience in relation to the events in Libya, adding that it should be scrutinized as to illustrate whether these acts have complied with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
BRICS deputy foreign ministers called for settling Iran's nuclear program through diplomacy, stressing that pressure and threats against Iran are futile.
BRICS Group of Countries, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Russia has close ties to Syria, which has been a big buyer of Russian weapons and hosts a Russian naval maintenance facility on the Mediterranean, a rare outpost abroad for the Russian military.
Moscow has been increasingly isolated in its support for Assad. It has urged his government to implement reforms faster, but has rejected pressure from Syrian opposition groups to call for his resignation and has accused Western nations of trying to set the stage for armed intervention.