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Russian PM Warns of Catastrophic Consequence of Lingering Syria Conflict
   2016-02-14 07:11:18    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Shaotong

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, Germany, Feb. 13, 2016. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday warned here of catastrophic consequences in case that the conflict in Syria dragged on and that the world has slid into a "new cold war," criticizing the West's "unfriendly" policy against his country. [Photo: Xinhua]

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned of catastrophic consequences if the conflict in Syria drags on.

Speaking to top diplomats at a session of the ongoing Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Medvedev says it is important to prevent Syria from disintegrating.

"Regarding Syria, we will continue to work on common peace initiatives. It is difficult but there is no alternative to the overall national and inter-denominational dialogue. We need to maintain a unitary state, and we must not allow its dissolution on sectarian lines. The world cannot afford another Libya, Yemen or Afghanistan. The consequences of such a scenario would be a catastrophic for the entire Middle East."

Medvedev has also refuted the accusation that Russia was bombing civilian targets in Syria, saying Russia was trying to prevent Russian militants from going back to the country from Syria to commit terrorist acts.

Medvedev made the remarks after the fourth foreign ministers' meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Munich agreed on a nationwide cessation of hostilities to be implemented soon in Syria.

Members of the ISSG also agreed to immediately accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas in Syria. A working group is to start meeting in Geneva to oversee this issue.

Also speaking at the Munich Security Conference, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the Syria crisis should be settled on a political basis.

"If the international community and the Syrians themselves miss the opportunity now before us to achieve that political resolution to the conflict, the violence, the bloodshed, the torture, the images of children, of women, the bombing, and the anguish is just going to continue."

Kerry says a lot of work must be done in order to ensure an effective "cessation of hostilities" within the week in Syria.

The United States has held that Russian airstrikes are targeted against opposition groups in Syria rather than terrorists.

This claim has been rejected by the Russian side.

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