Russia signals to Syria's Assad to stay silent on re-election




 
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Russia signals to Syria's Assad to stay silent on re-election
 
December 19th, 2013  
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Topic: Russia signals to Syria's Assad to stay silent on re-election


Russia signals to Syria's Assad to stay silent on re-election
A Russian diplomat signaled on Thursday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should refrain from statements suggesting he might seek re-election because it could fuel tension before planned peace talks. Russia has been Assad's most important international ally during Syria's civil war, but the remarks by Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov to Interfax news agency appeared to be a rare public criticism of Assad by Moscow. Assad told Syria's Al Mayadeen television in October that he had no intention of quitting, despite pressure to do so from the United States and rebels fighting government forces. Looking ahead to an international peace conference which is planned on Syria next month in Geneva, he said: "Our position is that ahead of the start of negotiations, there should be no remarks that could displease anyone or provoke emotions and a response.




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