(CAIRO) — Russia continues to be a thorn in the side of those seeking a quick resolution to the ongoing conflict in Syria.
After talks with the Arab League and Egyptian leaders in Cairo Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Moscow continues to oppose a plan to form a transitional government in Syria that would include the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.
Without cooperation from Russia, there is little chance of convincing al-Assad that it would serve his country’s interests to step down after nearly 20 months of violence that has cost an estimated 35,000 lives.
Meanwhile, Lavrov also used the opportunity to accuse the West of prolonging the conflict by allegedly arming rebel forces.
The only common ground that Lavrov had with special United Nations and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is agreeing that it will take a political solution to stop the fighting.
In another development, Lavrov dismissed earlier reports that Washington and Moscow were in secret talks to end the crisis.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN