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No alternative to political solution for Syria

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-04 17:22

YEKATERINBURG, Russia - There is no alternative to a political solution toward ending the Syria crisis, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Tuesday at a Russia-EU summit.

The European Union confirmed the re-launch of the Geneva-Two initiative jointly raised by Russia and the United States, Van Rompuy said, adding officials from the 27-member bloc have been closely working with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the issue.

The EU recently lifted an arms embargo on the Syrian opposition, while Russia confirmed its contractual obligations to supply anti-aircraft missiles to the government forces.

Russia took the stance of non-interference in Syria's domestic conflict and said it would not support either side. The EU, mostly on France's insistence, formally recognized a major Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrians.

Local experts said the two sides were unlikely to reach consensus over Syria at the summit as it was difficult for Moscow to negotiate with the EU which lacked consensus from within.

Russian, US and UN officials would meet Wednesday for a tripartite meeting in Geneva to prepare for an international conference on Syria, Russian and UN officials said.

An action group comprising of some world powers met last year in Geneva and agreed that a transitional government should be set up in Syria to end the long-standing conflict but did not stipulate the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

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