Russia on Monday warned that an attack on Syria risked causing an "outburst of terrorism" in the region at a time when the government of President Bashar al-Assad is still ready for talks to end the conflict Al Jazeera reported.
"All the more, politicians share our estimation that a military solution will lead to an outburst of terrorism both in Syria and in neighbouring countries," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem.
Lavrov also cautioned that strikes would create even more refugees and added Russia "cannot not be worried by the fate of Russians living in Syria whose health and life might be put at risk."
"The possibility for a political solution remains," Lavrov said, emphasising that his Syrian counterpart had assured him at the talks in Moscow that Damascus was still "ready for peace talks".
Russia and the United States agreed in May to organise a peace conference in Geneva bringing all sides to the negotiating table but it has not happened amid continued tensions between Moscow and Washington.
"We are truly ready to take part in the Geneva conference without preconditions," said Muallem, who earlier thanked Russia for its support as Syria's top ally.
"We are also ready for dialogue with all political forces who favour reestablishing peace in our country," Muallem added. But he warned that the position would change if military strikes took place.
Shortly after the Moscow press conference ended, US Secretary of State John Kerry held a news conference in London with his British counterpart William Hague in which they reiterated that Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb that is at the centre of the current crisis.
Assad 'controls weapons'
Kerry said Assad could resolve the impasse surrounding the attack simply by turning over "every single bit'' of his weapons stock to the international community within a week.
But the top US diplomat added that he thinks Assad "isn't about to do that.''
Kerry was asked about comments Assad made to US journalist Charlie Rose in which Assad said there was no conclusive evidence about who is to blame for the chemical weapons attack.
Asked about Assad's denial, Kerry said, "I just gave you real evidence...We know that his regime gave orders to prepare for a chemical attack. We know they deployed forces.''
Kerry also said on Monday that the control of chemical weapons in Syria was limited to President Assad, his brother Maher and an unnamed general.
"But under any circumstances, the Assad regime is the Assad regime and the regime issues orders and we have high level regime (members) that have been caught giving these instructions and engaging in these preparations," Kerry said.
Maher is commander of Syria's Republican Guard and an elite armoured division.
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