The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that all parties must end the violence in Syria, including from the armed opposition, adding that a ceasefire is necessary before any Syria peacekeeping mission comes into action.
Lavrov spoke at a joint conference in Moscow with his United Arab Emirates counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The Russian said his country was examining an Arab League proposal for the deployment of a joint Arab-U.N. peacekeeping mission in Syria presented on Sunday in Cairo.
“We are studying this initiative and expect our friends from the Arab states to provide us with a clarification of certain points,” Lavrov told reporters.
“There must be a comprehensive political dialogue that satisfies the Syrian people,” Lavrov added.
Sheikh Abdullah, meanwhile, said “the Syrian regime does not have the ability to protect its people” with an ongoing bloody crackdown on civilian protesters which has led to more than 6,000 deaths since unrest erupted in mid-March.
“In order to deploy a peacekeeping mission, you need the agreement of the receiving side,” Lavrov said.
“In other words, you need to agree something resembling a ceasefire. But the problem is that the armed groups that are fighting the Syrian regime do not answer to anyone and are not controlled by anyone.”
The Arab League said it had agreed to open contacts with Syria’s opposition and ask the United Nations to form a joint peacekeeping force to the nation.
The move was swiftly denounced by Syrian regime, according to reports from the state television.
Lavrov repeated at a news conference Russia’s message that international pressure to end nearly a year of bloodshed in Syria should focus on the Syrian opposition as well as the government.
Russia and China used their veto power this month to block a Western-Arab Security Council resolution condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the violence.