Lavrov tells Assad "he knows what to do"
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that he knows what he should do to ensure peace in his country.
According to the Russian news agency "Novosti," Lavrov said at the start of their meeting in Damascus that "The duty of every head of state is to be aware of the responsibility placed on his shoulders... and you know what is your responsibility."
"It's in our interest that the Arab peoples will live in peace and unity."
These comments aimed at urging al-Assad to take steps to end the 11-month uprising against his regime. Russia has said that the opponents of Assad must also take responsibility for the violence.
Lavrov arrived in Damascus with the Intelligence Service Director Mikhail Fradkov.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that the goal of Lavrov's visit to Damascus is to persuade Assad to start democratic reforms to bring stability to Syria.
Lavrov said he will hand over al-Assad a message from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, but he did not reveal its content.
Many Syrians gathered in the Mezze region of Damascus to greet the Russian Foreign Minister in recognition of Moscow's positions in support of Syria. Images on Syria TV shown Syrians carrying Russian and Syrian flags.
One of the participants told the Syrian television, "Great Russia and China we will not forget this," in reference to the use of the veto at the UN Security Council.
Another participant thanked "Russia and China on their position to protect the country and support the Syrian people."
Another said, "We thank Russia and China for their legitimate positions. Russia is a democratic country that respects the sovereignty of other states and their policies."