16:46 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad giving an interview. File photo

    Lavrov: Russia Opposes Calls for Assad's Resignation

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    Moscow opposes Syrian President Bashar Assad's resignation as a precondition for political settlement in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Lavrov said at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif that Russia insisted on the Syrian conflict settlement without interference from outside the country.

    "If some of our partners believe that it is necessary to agree in advance that at the end of the transition period, the president will leave his post, for Russia, this position is not acceptable. The Syrian people should decide."

    The foreign minister stressed that all the opposition parties should be represented in peace talks.

    Russia and Iran call for solving the Syrian crisis through intra-Syrian dialogue and without outside interference, Lavrov added.

    "We exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, paying particular attention to the promotion of a settlement in Syria, which can only be peaceful, political and diplomatic, and which can only be achieved between Syria's [conflicting] sides, without any outside interference."

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011. The country’s government is fighting a number of rebel groups as well as jihadist militants, including the Nusra Front and the Islamic State.

    Moscow hosted two rounds of intra-Syria talks bringing together the parties to the Syrian conflict in an attempt to facilitate peace process.

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    Tags:
    Mohammad Javad Zarif, Bashar al-Assad, Iran, Russia, Syria
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