World Bulletin/News Desk
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Saturday that international support for Syrian rebels would lead to "more blood" and the government could not be expected to willingly give in to its opponents.
Lavrov, whose country has vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions intended to increase pressure on Syria's government to end 16 months of violence, said Western and Arab nations should exert more influence on rebels to stop fighting.
He said "tragedy" could be imminent in the Syrian city of Aleppo, but indicated rebels would be at least partly to blame.
"Pressure must be put on everyone," Lavrov said at a joint news conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba after talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, President Vladimir Putin's summer base.
"Unfortunately, our Western partners prefer to do something a bit different and essentially, along with some countries neighbouring Syria, encourage, support and direct the armed fight against the regime," he said.
"The price of all this is still more blood."
In the wake of the Security Council vetoes by Russia and China, the United States has said it will seek ways to trackle the crisis outside the U.N.
Gemba said it was "very serious moment" in Syria and it was primarily up to the government to stop the bloodshed.
"The position of the Russian side has great influence, and there is also the voice of the international community. We are counting on a constructive Russian position," he said, speaking through an interpreter.
Lavrov said Russia was calling on the government to "take the first steps" but that the rebels should not take advantage of any such government actions by occupying cities and towns.
"The city of Aleppo is occupied by the armed opposition and the next tragedy is brewing there, as I understand it," he said.
"Well-armed opposition groups are occupying cities, intending to create some sort of buffer zones for a transitional government. How can one expect that the Syrian government will say, 'Yes, go ahead, overthrow me,'" he said.
"This is unrealistic - not because we are holding onto the regime but because it just doesn't work," he said.
Talks resume between India and Pakistan after being suspended over row last year
Libya's internationally-recognized House of Representatives suspended its participation in the talks last month following deadly suicide attacks in the eastern Qubbah city
A North Carolina district attorney will seek death penalty against man charged in murder of three Muslim students
Badr Eid, the brother of former Lebanese lawmaker Ali Eid, was shot in the head
UN Special Envoy to Libya Bernadino Leon told a delegation representing the General National Congress that the talks will start in Morocco on Thursday
Army troops were put on high alert Monday after heavy rains lashed several parts of Pakistan, killing eight people...
Increasing military budget would be wrong answer to current crises, says main opposition Left Party.
Jens Stoltenberg condemns assassination of the Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov and calls for independent probe
Paris facing challenges in seeking to cut its deficit without raising taxes, economists tell Anadolu Agency.
Algerian lawmakers expressed opposition to shale gas bill while protestors clashed with police leaving 40 policeman injured
Scientists have established that deforestation cause monsoon rains to drift south cutting rainfall in India significantly.
U.S. diplomats in Caracas could not give any information about the pilot, or say whether Maduro was referring to any Americans other than the missionaries.
Netanyahu has called his mission to the USA one of historic importance, and fears for Israel.
War court judge orders the overseer of the Guantanamo cases to be replaced after he exercised "unlawful influence"