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Russia welcomes amnesty for anti-government protesters in Syria

(Xinhua)

09:41, January 17, 2012

MOSCOW, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its welcome Monday to the large-scale amnesty announced in Syria for anti-government protesters, believing this would facilitate the crisis settlement in this Middle East country.

Moscow believed the measure taken by Damascus authority would ensure that the crisis could be resolved with no outside intervention, said the foreign ministry statement.

"This is the first large-scale amnesty. Moscow considers this act by Syrian authorities positive in promoting the initiative of the League of Arab States and the peaceful settlement of the internal crisis by Syrians themselves without any external interference," it said.

The amnesty on Sunday was not the first one Damascus announced although it is the largest so far. The previous amnesty freed over 3,500 opponents of the Syrian government.

The latest amnesty applies to Syrian citizens accused of various illegal activity between March 15, 2011 and Jan 15, 2012.

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