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Russia denies receiving AL proposals on Syrian transition

(Xinhua)

09:33, July 26, 2012

MOSCOW, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia has not received any official proposals directly from the Arab League (AL) regarding a power transition plan for Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

"We did not receive any proposals directly," Lavrov told reporters.

He acknowledged that he got information via media that Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim al-Thani and AL Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Ben Helli planned to visit Moscow to present a Syrian transition plan.

"If they consider it more useful to speak about that publicly but not addressing the country they are going to visit, let's wait and see," Lavrov said.

According to the proposals published by some media, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's resignation was a precondition for transition talks in the country.

Speaking at an AL meeting on Sunday in Doha, the Qatari foreign minister called on "the opposition and the Free Syrian Army to form a government of national unity."

He also appealed to al-Assad to accept a "safe exit" that would help the Syrian president "save face" and avoid prosecution.

Also on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed doubt on whether the new round of sanctions against Damascus imposed by the European Union (EU) on Monday complied with international law.

Russia described the sanctions as a "maritime and air blockade of Syria."

The EU obligated its members to inspect Syria-bound ships and planes from third countries if they were suspected of carrying arms for the Syrian government.

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