Russia and Iran both reaffirmed their positions Friday that there should be no foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Moscow to discuss the situation in Syria, where the military continues to battle opposition forces seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
"The two sides highlighted the necessity to stop bloodshed and violence in that country, whatever it originates from, with no delay to settle the intra-Syria problems by the Syrians themselves with no outside involvement," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Russia has been a staunch ally of the Assad regime, supplying the military with weapons and ammunition and consistently blocking U.N. Security Council resolutions, along with China, to condemn the government's tactics in the conflict which is estimated to have claimed over 15,000 lives.
Iran has also been a longtime ally to Syria and has provided military support to the Assad regime during the uprising, deploying Revolutionary Guard forces into the country to prevent "the massacre of people" by opposition forces, according to statements from Ismail Gha'ani, the deputy head of Iran's Quds force, a branch of the Revolutionary Guard tasked with operations abroad.
Nevertheless, Amir-Abdollahian maintained that the situation in Syria "cannot be settled by military means."
"The settlement must be political," he added.
Both diplomats professed support for former U.N.-Arab League envoy Syria Kofi Annan's peace plan, which called for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from populated urban areas, demanded daily cease fires to allow for humanitarian and medical aid to be delivered and sought to bring the Syrian government and opposition leaders together for negotiations.
Annan stepped down Wednesday, citing frustrations with divisions among Security Council members. On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly condemned the Syrian government's use of heavy weapons in the conflict.