VIDEO: Russian Minister Says No Need for U.N. Resolution to End Violence in Syria
Monday death toll rises to 92; two citizen journalists among the dead, opposition group says
CNN Wire Staff
November 05, 2012(CNN) -- Russia insisted a political solution was the only answer to end the bloodshed in Syria, where the death toll mounted on Monday.
Here are the latest developments in the Syrian civil war:
Russian diplomat: 'No need for any type of resolution'
Russia's top diplomat dismissed a call by the U.N.-Arab League special envoy for the Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a transition of power in Syria.
"If the priority is the change of (the government,) then there will be more blood. But if the priority is to save lives, then there is no need for any type of resolution," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Sunday after a meeting with the special envoy in Cairo.
Lavrov's comments followed news that the special envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, called on the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a transition of power in Syria that permanent Security Council members agreed upon in June. The resolution, known as the Geneva deal, was put together by his predecessor, Kofi Annan, and called for a transitional government in Syria.
Brahimi's call for the resolution came after a holiday cease-fire he pushed for between government forces and rebels collapsed.
The Geneva agreement did not lay out how power would be transferred, nor did it spell out any role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been under enormous international pressure to step down and end the conflict that began in March 2011.
China and Russia, members of the U.N. Security Council, have repeatedly blocked attempts to adopt a resolution.
Many have accused Russia of backing the Syrian government, but Russia says it just wants a political solution for Syria determined by its own people.
China, meanwhile, has offered a four-point plan to end the war, calling for a cease-fire, plans for political settlement and transition, and international humanitarian aid.
Syria's opposition groups began a second day of negotiations Monday in Qatar's capital city of Doha as part of an effort to unify the rebellion.
The move comes after reports that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that the exiled Syrian National Council should no longer be considered the "visible leader" of efforts to form a government to replace al-Assad, whose iron-fisted attempt to crush anti-government protests has resulted in the bloody civil war.
Clinton said the opposition must include seats for "those who are on the front lines fighting and dying today."
The United States has recommended people and organizations that should be included, she said -- and the State Department says Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, will be "on the sidelines" of the upcoming Doha talks.
French President Francois Hollande made a similar statement Sunday, saying that the Syrian opposition needs a leader to set up "an interim government through a fair democratic process," the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.
The negotiations in Doha began after the SNC announced it would elect a new president, replace half of its executive board and expand its membership. The SNC says its meetings are a prelude to talks with other opposition groups later this week.
"Any discussion about bypassing the SNC or forming other alternative entities is an attempt to damage the revolution and sow the seeds of division and discord," the group said in a statement.
Opposition: Two citizen journalists killed
At least 92 people, including two citizen journalists, five women and six children, were killed in fighting Monday across Syria, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.
Samer Kreishi was killed in fighting in the Damascus suburb of Arbeen, where government forces and rebels have been fighting sporadically for months, the LCC said.
Another journalist, Nasser Sheikhani, was killed during shelling in Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, the group said.
The two were described by the LCC as "citizen journalists" who routinely documented violence by government forces with the use of video and photographs, which were then uploaded on YouTube and other social media sites.
More than 33,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011, the opposition says.
An additional 234 people were reported dead Sunday, including 100 in Damascus and its suburbs alone, the LCC said.
CNN cannot independently confirm government or opposition reports out of Syria, as the government has restricted access by journalists.
CNN's Saad Abedine contributed to this report.
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