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    Calls for Syria Regime Change Fuel Conflict - Moscow

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    Russia on Monday lashed out at the demands for regime change in Syria, support for the opposition, and calls for outside intervention, which only intensify the conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the UN on Monday.

    Russia on Monday lashed out at the demands for regime change in Syria, support for the opposition, and calls for outside intervention, which only intensify the conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the UN on Monday.

    “The ill-considered demands for regime change, unilateral sanctions designed to cause economic difficulties and social tension in the country, pushing the opposition toward confrontation with the government… and even calls for military intervention - all of these are risky recipes that can only lead to the escalation of the conflict,” he said.

    He also warned against any attempts to manipulate the UN Security Council in the context of the “Arab Spring.”

    “No goals - whatever they are - may be achieved by misleading the world community, manipulating the decisions of the UN Security Council,” he said.

    That applies to NATO, he continued, which undertook to ensure a no-fly regime over Libya “but in fact resorted to massive airstrikes.”

    Russia is ready to endorse a UN resolution on Syria only on the basis of the five principles agreed with the Arab League, he said.

    These principles include an end to the violence, setting up monitoring mechanisms, unhindered humanitarian aid supplies to all Syrians, support for UN special envoy Kofi Annan's mission in the country, and non-interference in Syria’s internal affairs.

    More than 7,500 people have been killed since the uprising against Bashar al-Assad began a year ago. The government blames the violence on "terrorists and armed gangs."

    According to latest reports, the Syrian government’s crackdown on the opposition has intensified as dozens of people were killed in Homs and another opposition stronghold in the northwestern province of Idlib in the past 24 hours.

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