Moscow calls for end to violence in Syria

15:11, April 24, 2011      

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Russia was concerned about the growing tension in Syria and wanted the violence to end, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

The ministry expressed in a statement its concern about casualties among civilians.

"The government and all nongovernmental and religious groups of our friend Syria should stop violence and continue looking for fair solutions to the existing problems within the legal framework and based on civil accord," the statement released on the ministry's website said.

"We are firmly convinced that the country's stable and democratic development in the interests of all Syrian citizens can be ensured only through constructive dialogue and acceleration of large-scale political reforms and socioeconomic transformations planned by the Syrian leadership," it said.

Large-scale anti-government protests erupted in major Syrian cities Friday, after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad approved a decree lifting the country's state of emergency, which had been in place since 1963, and allowed peaceful demonstrations.

Reports said dozens of people were killed as security forces used live bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrations in some cities.

Source: Xinhua
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