Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted the need for his eventual departure under the terms of an agreement struck in Geneva June 30, said Alexander Orlov, Russia’s ambassador to France.
“It will be hard for him to stay,” Orlov said today in a French-language interview with Radio France International. “He is accepting to go, but to go in a civilized manner.”
The comments may signal a shift for Russia, which blocked last month’s deal from demanding Assad’s ouster. The statement negotiated by foreign ministers of the five permanent United Nations Security Council members -- China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. -- as well as Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, the European Union, the Arab League and Iraq called for a process leading to a political transition in the country.
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