Russia, China warn West against Arab interference
Russia and China oppose outside interference in the unrest in the Arab world, the two presidents said on Thursday in a declaration, as the West seeks their support for increasing pressure on Syria.
"The sides believe that the search for settling the situation in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa should take place in the legal field and through political means," said the declaration signed by Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao.
"Outside forces should not interfere in internal processes in the countries of the region."
Rather, the conflicts should be solved by "launching broad national dialogue about rebuilding stability and social order and the promotion of democratic and economic reforms," the statement said.
The two presidents also expressed concern over the situation in Libya, calling for an end to hostilities between the forces of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and the rebels.
Russia has said it opposes the UN Security Council adopting any resolution on Syria, risking a major dispute with the West over the response to the crackdown on Syrian protestors.
China has backed Russia's cautious stance although, as is customary, it has allowed its fellow permanent UN Security Council member to do most of the public talking on the issue.
Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich confirmed in Moscow that Russia "as before" was opposed to a UN Security Council resolution on Syria.
"This position, as you know has been set by the president and it remains unchanged," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.