World / Middle East

Russia slams West for pressing new Syrian leaders

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-02 17:19

MOSCOW - Western attempts to press new Syrian leaders from outside contradicted the Geneva agreement agreed by all world powers, a senior Russian diplomat said Friday.

"According to the Geneva communique, a transitional governing body must be formed on the basis of mutual agreement between the government and the opposition," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on his Twitter blog.

The Action Group on Syria has drafted a political roadmap in Geneva to head off the 20-month violence in the conflict-torn country.

The United States on Wednesday called for a reshuffle of Syria's opposition leadership, saying the foreign-based Syrian National Council could no longer be viewed as the visible leader of the opposition.

Russia, along with China and some other countries, has unswervingly supported the mediating efforts of the UN-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and urged other parties concerned to play a constructive role in the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.

The UN has estimated that more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in the Middle East country since the crisis began in March 2011.

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