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Russia Denies Discussing Assad's Future With West


Russia says it is not discussing the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with Washington.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made the statement in response to a report in Moscow's "Kommersant" daily saying Western nations, led by the United States, were making "active attempts" to persuade Moscow to offer Assad a home.

The denial comes as the Western-led Friends of Syria group prepares to meet in Paris on July 6.

Moscow has said it will not attend the Paris conference and has accused the West of seeking to distort a deal struck on June 30 in Geneva for a political transition in Syria.

In Geneva, world powers agreed to a transition plan that did not make an explicit call for Assad to quit power, but the West has made clear it sees no role for him in a unity government.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax

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