Russia warned the West against foreign interference in Syria and pushed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

“There should be no outside interference,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “The only thing that foreign players should do is create conditions for the opening of dialogue.”

The statement came in response to President Barack Obama’s threat on Monday to intervene militarily if Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against rebel forces.

Russia stepped up diplomatic efforts on the Syrian conflict on Tuesday, hosting in Moscow China’s State Councillor Dai Bingguo, and Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil.

Following his talks with China’s top diplomat, Mr. Lavrov said Russia and China agree on “the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law and the principles contained in the U.N. Charter, and not to allow their violation.”

Meeting with Syria’s deputy premier, who paid a second visit to Moscow this month, Mr. Lavrov said there were still chances for national reconciliation in Syria, even though they “are not 100-per cent chances.”

Mr. Lavrov said the Syrian government “is not taking enough steps” to bring about national reconciliation, but was moving in the right direction.

“Even though outside factors are there, it is a fact that a large section of the Syrian people is not happy with their situation and this makes national reconciliation Number One priority,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

Syria’s deputy premier told Mr. Lavrov that the Syrian government was working for national reconciliation and that “all sides must learn to make compromises” even as he complained that “external interference is hindering efforts for Syrians themselves to resolve the problem.”

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