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Russia opposes idea of referring Syria crisis to ICC


16:33, January 16, 2013

MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Moscow saw the idea of referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as counterproductive, Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

On behalf of 56 states, Switzerland sent a petition to the UN Security Council on Monday, calling for referral of the Syrian conflict to the ICC.

Russia believes this initiative was "ill-timed and counterproductive" in addressing the priority task at the moment, which is the immediate end of bloodshed in Syria, the ministry said in a statement.

"We are convinced that the speculation on international criminal prosecution and search for culprits would only serve to perpetuate the rival parties to irreconcilable positions and complicate the search for ways of political and diplomatic settlement of the Syrian conflict," said the statement.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with UN-Arab League joint envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi Friday in Geneva on the Syrian crisis.

Russia was "satisfied" with the trilateral meeting, with relevant parties sharing the common concern for not letting the situation deteriorate and coming up as soon as possible with a political solution, said Bogdanov.

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