Russia says it won't discuss Syria's post-Assad future - InfoNews

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Russia says it won't discuss Syria's post-Assad future

A Syrian man walks through the rubble of a destroyed military outpost the Free Syrian Army attacked in May, near Idlib, Syria, Thursday, June 14, 2012. (AP Photo)
June 15, 2012 - 5:47 AM

MOSCOW - Russia's foreign minister says Moscow isn't discussing Syria's future without President Bashar Assad as Washington has claimed.

Sergey Lavrov denied Thursday's statement by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that Moscow and Washington were discussing a post-Assad transition strategy.

Lavrov told a news conference Friday that Russia believes it's up to the Syrians to determine their country's future and that foreign players shouldn't meddle in that.

He argued that an international conference on Syria that Russia has proposed should focus on persuading the Syrian parties to sit down for talks. He says that Russia is opposing any attempts to use the conference to predetermine Syria's future.

Russia, along with China, has twice shielded Syria, its last remaining ally in the Arab world, from international sanctions.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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