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Russia denies report of deputy FM giving interview on Syrian president

(Xinhua)

10:17, August 15, 2012

MOSCOW, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Foreign Ministry denied on Tuesday that a senior Russian diplomat had given an interview to foreign media discussing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's future.

Al Watan, a Saudi newspaper, published a story on its website on Tuesday, claimed to be based on an interview with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. It quoted the senior diplomat, also the Russian president's special envoy to the Middle East, as saying that al-Assad was prepared to resign.

The interview was cited or republished by a number of Western media.

"We would like to note that this report is false and the Russian special representative (Bogdanov) did not give any interview," the Interfax news agency quoted Mariya Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry official, as saying.

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