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Putin on Syria: Outsiders can't decide who rules

21 june 2012, 10:26
Russian President Vladimir Putin. ©AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin. ©AFP
President Vladimir Putin defended Russia's policy of non-intervention in Syria on Tuesday by saying that outsiders have no right to interfere in other countries and decide who rules, AFP reports.

"We believe that nobody has the right to decide for other nations who should be in power and who should not," Putin told reporters after a G20 summit in the Mexican beach resort of Los Cabos.

"It is not changing the regime that is important, but that after changing the regime, which should be done constitutionally, violence is stopped and peace comes to the country," he said.

Putin said all sides should sit down and work things out beforehand.

And, in a veiled reference to simmering unrest in Libya in the wake of the NATO-backed ouster of now-slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi, added: "Unlike in some North African countries where violence goes on even after regime change."

Putin's forthright remarks came the day after he joined US President Barack Obama in calling for an "immediate" end to the Syria conflict.

"In order to stop the bloodshed in Syria, we call for an immediate cessation of all violence," the two leaders said in a statement after meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit of the world's leading economies.

"We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future," the leaders said.

The United States has voiced frustration at Russia's blocking of UN Security Council moves against Assad.

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