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Damascus rules out repetition of Libyan scenario in Syria

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Syria's presidential advisor for politics and media Bouthaina Shaaban on Monday ruled out the possibility that Syrian unrest would develop in similarity to the Libyan scenario.

Syria's presidential advisor for politics and media Bouthaina Shaaban on Monday ruled out the possibility that Syrian unrest would develop in similarity to the Libyan scenario.

"This [the repetition of the Libyan scenario] is impossible and will never happen," Shaaban said at a press conference in Moscow. "People have received a lesson from the Libyan events. This won't reoccur."

She said the Syrian leadership appreciates Russia's role in mitigating the tensions in the country. "We highly appreciate Russia's position in quelling this situation. It is different from the position of many Arab countries...that lacks logic," she said.

Senators from Russia's upper house are set to visit Syria in an effort to ease political tensions there.

"The main purpose of the visit is to go to Damascus and meet with the Syrian leadership, and also to tour the areas where protests are taking place," Mikhail Margelov, head of the Federation Council international affairs committee, said.

Moscow favors a political solution to the six-month confrontation between the Syrian authorities and the opposition while the United States and the European Union have called on President Bashar Al-Assad to quit.

Margelov said the Russian delegation would seek to start a dialogue between the conflicting sides in Syria to prevent armed confrontation and international interference in the situation.

Shaaban thanked Russia for its efforts to tame the crisis and give a start to peaceful negotiations.

The opposition in Syria wants the president to resign and political reforms to be pursued. The authorities have drafted a reform plan and called for a dialogue. The opposition has refused to cooperate until the president leaves office.

The government has used force to crush the opposition protests, which followed a wave of uprisings in other Arab countries.

A UN report said at least 2,200 people have died in clashes between government forces and protesters.

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