The Straits Times
Published on Jan 12, 2013

Russia calls for 'political transition process' in Syria


MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia has called for the launch of a political transition process in Syria, a day after peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with diplomats from Moscow and Washington in a bid to resolve the nearly two-year-old conflict.

But Moscow also reiterated its long-held position that only Syrians themselves could decide their fate without outside interference.

"In our opinion, the priority task is to immediately stop any violence and bloodshed as well as provide Syrians including internally displaced persons and refugees with humanitarian aid," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

"At the same time, it is necessary to secure the launch of a political transition process in Syria aimed at enshrining in law guaranteed and equal rights of all ethnic-confessional groups of this country."