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Russia says would support Assad departure from power, if decision reached by Syria

Reuters [1]
Sunday, June 10, 2012

Russia will not oppose the departure of Syria’s President Bashar Assad if that is the result of a dialogue between Syrians themselves and is not imposed from outside, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

Lavrov spoke one day after his deputies held consultations with U.S. special envoy Fred Hof, in Moscow to push for a political transition in Syria that would see Assad leave power.

“If the Syrians agree (about Assad’s departure) between each other, we will only be happy to support such a solution,” Lavrov told reporters. “But we believe it is unacceptable to impose the conditions for such a dialogue from outside.”

Eager to maintain its firmest Middle East foothold and stop the West pushing governments from power, Russia has used its UN Security Council veto and other tools to protect Assad from coordinated condemnation and sanctions.

Full story here. [1]