MOSCOW - Adoption of a Western-Arab draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria would have meant taking sides in a civil war, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.
Defending Russia's decision to veto the resolution, which would have supported an Arab League call for Syrian President Bashar Assad to cede power, Lavrov said the draft made demands on the government and its forces but required little of violent elements in the opposition.
Speaking after talks with Bahrain's foreign minister, Lavrov declined to say what message he would bring to Assad when he travels to Damascus on Tuesday at the behest of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
He said Russia was pressing Assad's government to implement democratic reforms more swiftly but that some opponents were using the protest movement in Syria to seek "regime change" violently.
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