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February 20, 2013

Russia Calls for End to Syrian Crisis

by VOA News

Russia is calling for an end to the nearly two-year crisis in Syria.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday after a meeting with Arab diplomats in Moscow that neither the Syrian government nor rebels can pursue a military solution, saying that is a path to mutual destruction.

Russia has used it veto power in the United Nations Security Council to block three rounds of resolutions against Syria, stressing the need for Syria to find an end to the fighting without foreign interference.

Lavrov's comments come a day after rebels fired mortar rounds at one of President Bashar al-Assad's palaces in Damascus. The strike was the first confirmed by the government close to a presidential building.

Activists also reported a missile strike Tuesday in the northern city of Aleppo that killed at least 31 people. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says approximately 140 people died in fighting across Syria Tuesday.