Russian ambassador to France says Assad ready to quit; Syria denies
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Russian ambassador to France says Assad ready to quit; Syria denies

Paris : France | Jul 20, 2012 at 9:36 AM PDT
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Syrian officials killed in suicide bombing (Syrian state tv)

Russian ambassador to France Aleksandr Orlov told Radio France International on Friday that Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to step down but "in civilized manner."

"At the Geneva conference, there was a final communique that foresees a transition towards a more democratic system," Orlov told the RFI.

"This final communique was accepted by Assad. Assad nominated his representative to lead the negotiations with the opposition for this transition. That means he accepted to leave, but in an orderly way," Orlov added.

Orlov further said his personal opinion is that Assad would not be able to remain in power. “I think it will be difficult for him to stay after everything that has happened. But essentially, he has accepted that he will have to leave.”

On thr other hand, Syrian information ministry denied as "totally baseless" media reports which cited the Russian ambassador to France as saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is ready to leave office in a "civilized way."

The ministry said in a statement on Friday that the interview Orlov gave to Radio France Internationale had been recorded and posted on the net , but it was distorted, adding that Orlov did not make the remarks.

Meanwhile, Syrian television announced that Syrian intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar died of wounds from an explosion that targeted the headquarters of the National Security two days ago.

So far the explosion killed defense minister Dawood Rajiha, deputy defense minister Assef Shawkat, Assad's security adviser Hasan Turkmani and interior minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar.

On the ground, the violence in Syria continued, at least 310 people were killed across the country Thursday, making it the deadliest day since the beginning of the uprising against Assad's regime in March 2011.

According to the Syrian Observatory, at least 93 people were killed by government troops. According to the Local Coordinating Committees, the death toll of civilian deaths amounted to 217 on Thursday.

The regime forces regained control of the Midan district in the capital Damascus, state television announced Friday. The opposition said that the rebels have carried out a "tactical" withdrawal Friday morning to spare civilians from further bombardments. Heavy fighting between rebels and soldiers took place in the capital for five days.

Sources: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/20/227387.html

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/48217/World/Region/Assad-is-ready-to-leave,-Russian-ambassador-in-Par.aspx

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File photo of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and former Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani in Damascus
File photo of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and former Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani in Damascus
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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