Moscow says calls to use force in Syria counterproductive
Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Thursday that French calls to use force in Syria under a United Nations mandate were counterproductive.
Bogdanov's comments came a day after French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Syria's United Nations-backed peace plan was "seriously compromised" and held out the threat of seeking military action to end a brutal 13-month crackdown on dissent.
"It's a counterproductive approach," Russian news agencies cited Bogdanov as saying. "It seems to us the only way to avoid civil war, the most promising method, is a national dialogue" in Syria.
Syrian opposition leaders Thursday demanded an emergency meeting of the UN, following the reported killing of more than 100 people in the city of Hama, though Russia blamed rebels for stoking the unrest.
"The questions of a ceasefire and the retreat of troops are, of course, important, but they must be accompanied by practices tied to the political process," Bogdanov added.
© 2012 AFP