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July 22, 2013

Russia: Military Intervention Will Not Bring Peace to Syria

by Jessica Golloher

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Monday with Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil in Moscow to try to resolve the deadly conflict in Syria. 

Lavrov said that the more than two-year-long, bloody conflict in Syria can’t be resolved through military intervention.

He added that Russia is very concerned about the situation in Syria, and that Moscow is convinced that a military solution does not exist.

Lavrov, who made the comments during talks with Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil, said it’s important to find other ways to resolve the conflict.

The foreign minister said that the Kremlin thinks it’s very important to use every opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions of how to stop the bloody civil war through the political process.

He also called on the Syrian government and opposition to work together to expel all "terrorists and extremists" from Syria.

Moscow has been an ally of Damascus since the Soviet period and is seen as the linchpin to resolving the conflict that has killed as many as 100,000 people and displaced many more.

Russia has refused to back three rounds of sanctions against its Middle Eastern ally, maintaining it’s not the job of the United Nations Security Council to force the ouster of any government.

The Kremlin has also angered the West by continuing to sell arms to Damascus. Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains that none of the weapons can be used in a civil conflict so Moscow is not breaking any international laws.

Russia insists that dialogue with both sides is necessary for peace.  Moscow and Washington have been trying to organize peace talks in Geneva in an effort to achieve a cease-fire.