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Lavrov & Davutoglu in Istanbul (hurriyet)
Lavrov & Davutoglu in Istanbul (hurriyet)

Lavrov criticized Friends of Syria

(DP-News – Agencies )

Istanbul- Speaking at press conference following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said his country rejects military intervention in Syria, adding that Russia hopes to avoid any measure of military intervention in Syria in the forthcoming meeting of Friends of Syria in Istanbul.



Lavrov said "We do not struggle to change the regime. We don't support such activities but further dialogue between the regime and the opposition."



Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov criticized the Friends of Syria grouping of Western and Arab countries opposed to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad as negative for dialogue.



“Right now we see this process is making a negative contribution to the (Geneva) decisions,” Lavrov told reporters in Istanbul.



Lavrov warned that the Syrian tragedy will continue, the massacre will continue and the al-Qaida will emerge if the military intervention takes place.



As for the upcoming Friends of Syria meeting which will be hosted by Istanbul on April 20, Lavrov said that his country is not a member of Friends of Syria group and expressed his doubts over activities of the group.

Lavrov slammed the Friends of Syria group which gathers Western and Arab countries that reject the rule of President Bashar al- Assad as negative for dialogue.



He said "right now we see this process is making a negative contribution to the Geneva decisions," while referring to a 2012 accord among world powers in Geneva aiming at resolving the Syrian conflict through talks involving all parties in Syria.



"When one party is isolated in any mechanism set up to deal with a conflict, we miss the ground for dialogue," he stressed.



"If you look at the practical perspectives of this group, do you think it could contribute to the Geneva Agreements?" Lavrov wondered.



"The Friends of Syria group is supporting the Syrian oppositions. Some of the Syrian oppositions are labeled as representatives of the Syrian people but this is contradictory with the international law," Lavrov added.



Lavrov said if any military intervention happens in Syria in the future, the chance for dialogue would be lost, reiterating al- Qaida emergence and intensified terrorism activities inside Syria.



"The consequences of the Syrian crisis are horrible: casualties, suffering, humanitarian crises," Lavrov said. "If the priority is peace, changes and democratic reforms, it's necessary to force the warring parties to sit down for talks. If Assad's departure is the priority, the cost of such [a] geopolitical approach will be more casualties."



"If we allow those making the emphasis on [a] military solution to control the situation, those horrors … will multiply and the terrorists' influence in the region will grow," he added. "The longer the emphasis on the regime isolation and military solution is made, the more these threats will grow."



Russia and Turkey are at odds over the Syrian crisis, with Ankara leading calls for the overthrow of Assad's government and Moscow favoring an Assad-led transitional government.



For his part, Davutoglu hailed as frank and sincere talks with Lavrov.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he had conducted frank and sincere discussions with Lavrov. "Russia has contributed a lot trying to address the Syrian crisis, however it could not solve the Syrian problem so far."



Davutoglu said that Turkey established different mechanisms with Russia and Iran over the Syrian crisis.



Last week, Davutoglu said that more than 10 ministers from different countries will come and discuss the Syrian crisis at the upcoming meeting of Friends of the Syrian People core group in Istanbul on April 20.



Lavrov arrived earlier in the day in Istanbul to attend the third meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group with his Turkish counterpart Davutoglu.

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