ISTANBUL - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said his country rejects military intervention in Syria, adding that Russia hopes to avoid any measure of military intervention in Syria in the forthcoming meeting of Friends of Syria in Istanbul.
Speaking at press conference following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Lavrov said "We do not struggle to change the regime. We don't support such activities but further dialogue between the regime and the opposition."
Lavrov warned that the Syrian tragedy will continue, the massacre will continue and the al-Qaida will emerge if the military intervention takes place.
As for the upcoming Friends of Syria meeting which will be hosted by Istanbul on April 20, Lavrov said that his country is not a member of Friends of Syria group and expressed his doubts over activities of the group.
Lavrov slammed the Friends of Syria group which gathers Western and Arab countries that reject the rule of President Bashar al- Assad as negative for dialogue.
He said "right now we see this process is making a negative contribution to the Geneva decisions," while referring to a 2012 accord among world powers in Geneva aiming at resolving the Syrian conflict through talks involving all parties in Syria.
"When one party is isolated in any mechanism set up to deal with a conflict, we miss the ground for dialogue," he stressed.
If you look at the practical perspectives of this group, do you think it could contribute to the Geneva Agreements?" Lavrov wondered.
"The Friends of Syria group is supporting the Syrian oppositions. Some of the Syrian oppositions are labeled as representatives of the Syrian people but this is contradictory with the international law," Lavrov added.
Lavrov said if any military intervention happens in Syria in the future, the chance for dialogue would be lost, reiterating al- Qaida emergence and intensified terrorism activities inside Syria.
Russia and Turkey are at odds over the Syrian crisis, with Ankara leading calls for the overthrow of Assad's government and Moscow favoring an Assad-led transitional government.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he had conducted frank and sincere discussions with Lavrov. "Russia has contributed a lot trying to address the Syrian crisis; however it could not solve the Syrian problem so far."
For his part, Davutoglu hailed as frank and sincere talks with Lavrov.
Davutoglu said that Turkey established different mechanisms with Russia and Iran over the Syrian crisis.
Last week, Davutoglu said that more than 10 ministers from different countries will come and discuss the Syrian crisis at the upcoming meeting of Friends of the Syrian People core group in Istanbul on April 20.
Present at the planned meeting will be U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who will visit Turkey for the core group meeting of Friends of Syria.
Both sides issued a joint declaration at the end of their meeting, in which they expressed grave concern about the loss of life, mass destruction and the human suffering as well as the implications of the conflict on the neighboring countries and the region as a whole.
They reaffirmed their support for a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis so as to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
They also agreed to continue their cooperation in line with the final communiqué issued by the Action Group for Syria on June 30, 2012.
Lavrov arrived earlier in the day in Istanbul to attend the third meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group with his Turkish counterpart Davutoglu.
The Joint Strategic Planning Group is a sub-organ of the Turkey- Russia High Level Cooperation Council which was set up last year to strengthen bilateral economic ties. (Xinhua)