Russia says Syrian leadership has made many mistakes

MOSCOW - Syria's leadership has made "very many mistakes" that have aggravated the crisis in the violence-torn Middle Eastern nation, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in remarks broadcast on Tuesday.
Lavrov's comments were some of Russia's toughest criticism of the Syrian government in a year of bloodshed, but he reiterated that President Bashar Assad's exit should not be a precondition for a solution to the crisis."We believe the Syrian leadership reacted wrongly to the first appearance of peaceful protests and ... is making very many mistakes," Lavrov told Russian radio station Kommersant-FM, seeking to distance Moscow from the government.
Lavrov said that "the question of who will lead Syria in a transition period" can only be decided in a dialogue involving the government and its opponents and that demanding Assad resign as a condition for such a dialogue is "unrealistic".
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