Russia Urges Syria Opposition to Unite ‘For Peace’

Moscow is calling on Syrian opposition groups to unite to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“Moscow believes it is very important for Syrian opposition groups to unite as soon as possible,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that there is no alternative to the peaceful resolution of the crisis on the basis of generally recognized international principles.

The opposition should be prepared to cooperate with the Syrian government, the ministry said.

Moscow will continue intensive contacts with Damascus and opposition groups “to set in motion a constructive political process,” the ministry said.

The UN estimated in May that some 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based organization with a network of activists in Syria, revised the death toll to 16,500 on Monday. Of those, some 5,000 were government troops and army defectors, the group said. June had been the bloodiest month of the conflict so far, with around 100 deaths every day, it said.

The UN Security Council has so far failed to find a way to settle the conflict. Russia and China have refused to support any plans for outside interference in Syria.


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