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NATO Chief: No Military Solution to Syria Conflict

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NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that he does not anticipate "any further role" for the military alliance in Syria.

"There is no military solution to the conflict in Syria," Rasmussen told a press conference in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, emphasizing that a political solution is required to end the Syrian conflict, now well into its third year.

The NATO chief voiced support for a long-mooted international conference hosted by the United States and Russia that would seek to negotiate a deal between the Syrian regime and opposition groups.

"I urge the government and opposition in Syria to participate in this conference that hopefully will pave the way for a sustainable solution," he said.
The proposed peace conference - dubbed Geneva 2 - would decide how to implement a declaration agreed by the major powers in the Swiss city in June 2012 for a ceasefire.

Last week, the international envoy to Syria, al-Akhdar Ibrahimi urged Syria's warring parties to hold talks "without preconditions" and said he hoped negotiations could take place in late November.
On Monday, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow and Washington have agreed to push for holding the international gathering on the Syrian crisis in mid-November.

On Sunday, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad expressed his country's readiness to partake in the conference but stressed that he would not negotiate with terrorists.
However, al-Assad stressed that the only condition for sitting at the negotiating table is that the militants lay down their arms and stop fighting against the government.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team