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Russia denies plans to grant asylum to Assad


This handout picture released by the Syrian Presidency Facebook page on October 17, 2019, shows President Bashar al-Assad (R) meeting with Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayyad in Damascus. 

Moscow: Russia has no plans to provide asylum to embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We are not even thinking about it. Those who are trying to plant this idea into the minds of the international community, pursue their dirty goals," Lavrov said.

"It's just provocations by those who want to put the entire blame for what is going on in Syria on Russia and China, allegedly because we have been blocking something," he said.

"We are blocking... only an attempt to support one side in an internal conflict by a UN Security Council decision," the Russian foreign minister added.

Lavrov also said another Syrian settlement meeting with Russia's participation will be held soon.

"We are meeting with all (parties to the Syrian conflict), we have some contacts scheduled in future both in Russia and abroad," he said.

Up to 17,000 people have been killed in clashes between Assad's troops and opposition fighters since the beginning of the conflict 17 months ago, according to UN estimates based on accounts provided by Syrian activists.


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