Nothing Can Persuade Assad to Step Down in Syria - Lavrov

December 29, 2012, Saturday // 12:21

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing a civil war, is insisting on staying in power, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

According to Lavrov cited by international media, nothing can be done to persuade Assad to step down

"Regarding Bashar al-Assad, he repeatedly said, both publically and in private... that he is not planning to leave, that he will remain in his post," Lavrov said alongside Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

"There is no possibility to change this position," added.

The UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, went to hold talks in Moscow Saturday to find a way out of the Syria conflict after Russia upped the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to open talks with the rebels.

Brahimi met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov amid signs that Russia - the only world power with close ties to the Damascus regime - was playing a more active role in finding an end to the bloody crisis that has claimed over 45 000 lives.

Russian Foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that the talks with Brahimi were aimed "at ending the violence and launching a national dialogue in the country between the authorities and the opposition."

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