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Envoy: Russia, US to seek 'creative' Syria solution

Dec. 6, 2012 10:56 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 6, 2012 10:56 P.M.)
DUBLIN (Reuters) -- Russia and the United States will seek a "creative" solution to drag Syria back from the brink, the international mediator on Syria said on Thursday after meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The comments by Lakhdar Brahimi, who called the unscheduled meeting on the sidelines of a Dublin conference, suggested a new coordination among the major powers might be emerging on Syria after months of sometimes bitter disagreement.

After the talks, which lasted about 40 minutes, Brahimi said he would seek peace based on the Geneva Declaration which calls for a transitional administration.

"We haven't taken any sensational decisions," Brahimi told reporters after the meeting at a gathering of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He called Syria's situation "very, very, very bad".

"We have agreed that we must continue to work together to see how we can find creative ways of bringing this problem under control and hopefully starting to solve it.

"We have also talked a little bit about how we can work out hopefully a process that will get Syria back from the brink. To put together a peace process that will be based on Geneva."

Clinton held a bilateral meeting with Lavrov and Brahimi met separately with Lavrov before the three sat down together.

Clinton told a news conference earlier the United States had been trying hard to work with Russia to stop the bloodshed in Syria and start a political transition.

"Events on the ground in Syria are accelerating, and we see that in many different ways," she said. "The pressure against the regime in and around Damascus seems to be increasing."

In Moscow, a senior Russian lawmaker and ally of Vladimir Putin described Syria's government on Thursday as being incapable of doing its job properly, in a sign Russia is trying to distance itself from President Bashar Assad.

That followed comments by Putin in Turkey on Monday that "new, fresh ideas" about how to end the crisis had emerged. The Kremlin said they would be discussed further by Russian and Turkish diplomats.
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