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Syria on brink of civil conflict: Lavrov

Syria on brink of civil conflict: Lavrov

Moscow: The situation in Syria is teetering on the brink of full-fledged civil conflict, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

"It looks like Syria is on the brink of civil conflict," RIA Novosti quoted him as saying Saturday.

At least 9,000 people have been killed in clashes between the government and opposition forces in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad last year, according to UN estimates.

UN-Arab special envoy Kofi Annan has said his six-point peace plan to stop violence in Syria is "not being implemented".

To help settle Syrian situation, Russia has proposed a UN conference that will gather together the countries that have influence on Syria's disparate forces.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria's neighbours - Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey - should take part, as well as representatives of the League of Arab States, Lavrov said.

Stating that Saudi Arabia and UN, EU diplomats should join the discussion, the Russian foreign minister advocated Iran's participation in the conference.

"We would like the conference to be open, with explicit discussion that will show whether there is a possibility to agree on coordinated measures towards both the Syrian government and all of the country's opposition groups," Lavrov said.

"Not only the Syrian government is responsible for what's going on now," he said, "the crisis is also to be blamed on the actions of those people who have not stopped giving money to illegal armed groups, hire mercenaries, help transfer them abroad and flirt with extremists to reach their own goals."

Moscow wants to hold this conference as soon as possible, but believes that expert meetings with representatives of other countries that also have influence on Syria should be held in advance of the conference.


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