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Medvedev, Sarkozy Confer On Syria Crisis

A man walks next to rubble on a street with damaged houses in Baba Amro, near Homs, on February 8.
The Kremlin says Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have discussed the situation in Syria in a telephone conversation.

The talks came after France, Britain, and the United States expressed doubts about the results of this week's trip to Damascus by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Lavrov said Assad was ready to end the violence in Syria and pursue a dialogue with opposition forces.

The opposition has rejected a dialogue with Assad's regime, saying the president must leave power.

Meanwhile, the opposition has reported fresh casualties on February 9 in the continuing offensive by Syrian security forces against opposition supporters in the central city of Homs.

Independent confirmation of casualties is not possible because of reporting restrictions imposed by the Syrian authorities.

With agency reports

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