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Russia not in talks over Assad's future: FM


08:39, December 10, 2012

MOSCOW, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Moscow was not holding talks with anyone on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's future, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

The priority to solve the crisis should be forcing all parties involved to lay down their weapons instead of talking endlessly about Assad's fate, Lavrov said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin's election agents.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow's stance on Syria, calling for a Geneva meeting of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and the Arab League countries.

He also called for the full implementation of the Geneva communique as a basis for the political settlement of the crisis and complained that some of Russia's Western partners have departed from former agreements.

Meanwhile, foreign players should exert their influences on the conflicting sides in Syria and urge them to stop violence immediately and go back to the negotiating table, said Lavrov.

Moscow has not changed its mind and would do its utmost to end the prolonged violence in Syria as soon as possible, he said.

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