Russian news reports said the head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) held talks in Moscow earlier this month on the fate of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
RIA-Novosti and Interfax cited a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow as saying on March 28 that John Brennan also “also reiterated the U.S. government's consistent support for a genuine political transition in Syria.”
Interfax also quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov as saying that Brennan had meetings at the Federal Security Service but that his visit was not linked to the decision by Moscow to start withdrawing its forces from Syria.
A spokesman for the CIA told Reuters that Brennan had indeed visited the Russian capital in early March.
The spokesman said in a statement quoted by Reuters that the purpose of the trip was "to emphasize with Russian officials the importance of Russia and the Assad regime following through on their agreements to implement the cessation of hostilities in Syria.”
With reporting by Interfax, RIA-Novosti and Reuters