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Moderate Syrian Opposition Leader Rejects Russian-Iranian Peace Plan

The leader of a political coalition of moderate Syrian opposition forces has told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that a Russian-Iranian proposal to end Syria's four-year-old civil war is unworkable.

Khaled al-Khoja, president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, told Lavrov in Moscow on August 13 that the only way to settle the conflict was for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to quit his post.

Russian and Iran are both trying to form an international coalition through the United Nations that includes Assad's regime in order to confront Islamic State militants in Syria.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Lavrov on August 11 that Saudi Arabia will not join any coalition that includes Assad's forces.

The United States, the European Union, and other Arab states in the Middle East also insist that Assad must step down from power.

Based on reporting by Interfax, Reuters, AP, TASS, and AFP