The Syrian opposition will not be able to defeat the government forces no matter how many arms it gets from abroad, said Russia’s Foreign Minister.

"It's clear as daylight that even if they arm the opposition to the teeth, it won’t defeat the Syrian army," Sergei Lavrov said. "The carnage will go on for many years. The West’s only hope then will be to resort to bombardments, but this would be insidious tactic and its consequences would be disastrous."

Libya is reaping the consequences of such policies, Mr. Lavrov said during a visit to Azerbaijan on Wednesday.

"Those who abused the U.N. Security Council mandate routed Gaddafi’s army killing dozens of civilians, but what they have left behind cannot be called a state. We are now witnessing statehood being destroyed in Mali, and I don’t think this is yet the end of the Libya story."

The Russian Foreign Minister lashed out at Sunday's meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People" in Istanbul for taking "decisions aimed at instigating the opposition to reject talks; decisions aimed at arming the opposition and adopting new sanctions."

"All that would undermine efforts to end violence," Mr. Lavrov said. "There’s a plan to draw in outside forces."

Russia has strongly backed a six-point peace plan for Syria proposed by Arab League and U.N. envoy Kofi Annan which calls for a halt in fighting and dialogue between the government and the opposition.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem will hold talks with Mr. Lavrov in Moscow next Tuesday, and representatives of two Syrian opposition groups will visit the Russian capital on April 17-18.

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