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Moscow calls on Arab League to work for peace in Syria

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The Arab League should urge not only the Syrian authorities but also the opposition forces to end the escalating violence in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

The Arab League should urge not only the Syrian authorities but also the opposition forces to end the escalating violence in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

"Violence in Syria must stop - whatever its origin," he said. "Violence in Syria originates not only from government structures as more and more weapons are being smuggled in from neighboring countries."

The Arab League suspended Syria from the organization on Saturday, and said it would impose harsh economic and political sanctions against Assad's government.

Two weeks ago, Damascus agreed to accept an Arab League peace plan for Syria, in which Damascus would release political prisoners detained in the current conflict, and remove all military equipment from urban areas.

Opposition leaders maintain that the Syrian authorities continue to use force against "peaceful demonstrations." According to UN estimates, more than 3,000 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March, when the first anti-regime protests began.

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