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Russia, Saudi Arabia discuss ways out of Syrian crisis

(Xinhua)

09:58, July 24, 2012

MOSCOW, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Saudi Arabia counterpart Saud al-Faysal discussed approaches to solve the Syrian crisis during a phone conversation, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Lavrov once again called for an immediate end to violence in Syria and a broad national dialogue involving all Syrian political forces, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

"The ministers exchanged opinions on key aspects of the Syrian problem. The Russian side called for an immediate end to violence, whoever it came from, and a broad national dialogue involving all Syrian political forces," the ministry said on its website.

Russia reiterated its call for consolidated efforts to ensure the implementation of a peace plan proposed by the UN-Arab League joint special envoy Kofi Annan which aimed at promoting the peaceful settlement of the crisis.

Saud al-Faysal informed Lavrov about the results of an emergency meeting of Arab League's foreign ministers in Doha on Sunday.

Russia upheld the Arabia League's approaches to acute regional matters and thought this alliance was capable of passing "weighed and attainable" decisions, taking into account the opinions of all its members, Lavrov said.

"The joint principles worked out at a Russia-AL ministerial meeting in Cairo on February 10 were taken into account by Kofi Annan in his six-point plan for Syria," the foreign ministry said.

The two diplomats agreed to continue contacts between Moscow and Riyadh over the Syrian crisis.

"The sides reaffirmed their interest in holding the second round of Russia-Persian Gulf Cooperation Council strategic dialogue in Moscow this year," the ministry said.

The Arab League on Monday urged Syrian President Bashar al- Assad to step down and promised a "safe exit" for him and his family if he agrees to give up power. It also called for the United Nations to hold an emergency meeting on Syria to discuss cutting diplomatic ties with the Arab country.

In response, the Syrian administration slammed the AL calls for Assad to step down as "flagrant interference" into its domestic affairs.

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