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The international envoy to Syria has warned that only political change will end the violence that has claimed 44,000 lives over the 21-month-old conflict.

Speaking after meeting Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, Lakhdar Brahimi called for a transitional government to rule until elections.

Brahimi’s push for a transitional government suggested he was trying to build on an international agreement in Geneva six months ago which said a provisional body – which might include members of Assad’s government as well as the opposition – should lead the country into a new election.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added to the envoy’s call for a peaceful solution when he told a senior Syrian diplomat that only a “broad inter-Syria dialogue and political process” could end the crisis.

Brahimi is due in Moscow on Saturday to discuss details of his peace plan. However, the latest video to emerge from Syria suggests neither side is willing to lay down their arms.

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