Syria welcomes U.S., Russian efforts

May 9, 2013 at 12:15 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, May 9 (UPI) -- The Syrian government welcomed a call from the United States and Russia to find a political solution to the crisis, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said this week alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that an international conference could outline how to form a transitional government in Syria.

"Syria stresses that the credibility of the U.S. position on adopting the political solution to the crisis in Syria lies in working seriously with its allies to halt the violence and terrorism and drain its sources so as to pave the way for launching the political dialogue," a statement published by the official Syrian Arab News Agency read.

The measure would reinvigorate political settlements outlined last year in Geneva. Kerry restated the long-standing position that there's no room for Syrian President Bashar Assad in any political settlement, however.

Russia has objected to efforts at the U.N. Security Council to sanction Syria citing a lack of balance. Russia is one of Syria's main weapons suppliers.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he welcomed the steps to find a political solution to the Syrian war.

"The goal should be clear to all," he said in a statement. "It must be an end to violence, a clean break from the past and a transition to a new Syria in which the rights of all communities are protected and the legitimate aspirations of all the people in Syria for freedom, dignity and justice are met."

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