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Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:18AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the months-long crisis in Syria should only be resolved by constitutional means and through dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. “No one is entitled to decide for other nations who will be brought to power and who will be removed,” Putin told journalists on Wednesday following the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. “A change of power, if it occurs - and it could only occur by constitutional means - should result in peace and stop the bloodshed,” the Russian president said. “In order to achieve that goal, we need to work well, to make all parties to the armed conflict stop the bloodshed, sit down to the negotiating table and agree on how they will jointly live in a common country and how the interests and security of people involved in the conflict will be ensured,” he said. “This should be done beforehand, and not like in some North African countries, where bloodsheds continue despite regime changes,” Putin said. Despite differences in the positions held by Russia and the West on the issue, we are ready to work jointly to have the conflicting parties finally reach an agreement on a peaceful coexistence, the Russian president pointed out. Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of the killings, Damascus blames ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad. MP/MA
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