Syrian opposition says no money for media war with Assad

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The Syrian opposition has no money to wage a media war with the authorities, opposition leader Ammar Qurabi said in Moscow on Friday.

The Syrian opposition has no money to wage a media war with the authorities, opposition leader Ammar Qurabi said in Moscow on Friday.

Qurabi, a top human rights official, heads a Syrian delegation visiting Moscow at the invitation of Russian non-governmental organizations, a diplomatic source in Moscow said.

"All of the opposition's appeals urge restraint and calm in the country, and so far the people have only staged peaceful demonstrations," Qurabi said, adding that government loyalist forces alone were using force.

UN reports said at least 2,200 people have died in opposition protests against the authorities since mid-March. Qurabi said his figures showed 3,400 dead, 30,000 missing and at least 20,000 refugees.

If the situation in Syria unfolds along the lines of the "Libyan scenario" and results in foreign intervention, the authorities will be to blame, he said.

"If there is any foreign interference in Syria, the blame will be entirely on the official authorities," he said.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the situation in Syria should be resolved internally and Syrians should be given the chance "to sit down at the negotiating table."

Opposition protests began in Syria in mid-March, demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and political reforms.

The authorities have proposed a dialogue and drawn up a reform plan. The opposition, however, has boycotted the dialogue offer and formed a transitional council.

Qurabi said there was no dialogue with the government, and added that the only subject he was ready to discuss with them was a transitional period.

The United States, France, Britain, and Germany have urged President Assad to quit.

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