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It is dangerous to stoke civil war in Syria

(Xinhua)

14:03, February 22, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Some in the West are suggesting arming the Syrian opposition after the United Nations Security Council failed to approve a lopsided resolution aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier this month.

Attempts to stoke civil war in Syria are dangerous as they could further expose the country's ethnic and sectarian faultlines.

Further more, a bloody civil war in Syria will not only cost dearly for the Syrian people, but also have unpredictable strategic implications on the whole region.

Many observers in Russia and China fear that some Western countries are playing on the Syrian crisis to maximize their interests in the Middle East, shoring up support for a pro-Western opposition force rather than freeing the Syrian people.

Their intention to cultivate allies in Damascus was driven mostly by Syria's unique geographical importance, and its close ties with Iran, Hamas and Lebanon's armed group Hezbollah.

Pushing for "regime change" instead of dialogue is an obvious first step for Western powers to back proxies in the country.

It is worth noting that the al-Assad government is ready to start reforms that would substantively improve people's life and protect their rights.

A referendum on a draft constitution on Sunday will allow Syrian citizens to opt for new freedoms, end the monopoly on power of Assad's Baath Party and set a timetable for multiparty elections.

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