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Pushing regime change in Syria may lead to full civil war : Russian FM

(Xinhua)

10:29, February 16, 2012

VIENNA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday defended his country's position on Syria and warned against pushing a regime change in Syria, Austrian Press Agency (APA) reported.

"The demand of a regime change is the direct way to even more deaths," Lavrov said at a joint conference with Austrian Foreign minister Michael Spindelegger in Vienna.

"That's the way to full civil war," Lavrov stressed.

Meanwhile, Spindelegger said that the regime of Bashar al-Assad has lost its legitimacy because of the violence.

The two ministers reached the consensus that the violence in Syria should be terminated but are of different opinions of how to achieve this goal.

Spindelegger said that the end of the violence must be initiated by a UN Security Council Resolution while Lavrov spoke against intervention from outside.

An international presence must be given consent by all parties of the conflict, said Lavrov, calling for a political dialogue among all Syrians.

Regarding the fact that some parts of the opposition in Syria refused to sit at the negotiating table, Lavrov said, "we must demand the people, who carry the weapons, to stop the violence."

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