Kremlin: Only Syrians Should Decide on the Future of Assad
21:01 10.09.2015(updated 22:09 10.09.2015)
Only the Syrian people can decide on the future of the country's President Bashar Assad, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday denying the existence of any plan to force Assad to resign.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Kremlin spokesman commented on media reports concerning a 'plan' to strip the Syrian president of power while letting him perform only protocol functions.
'There are a lot of proposals. In any case, it is important that Assad's future must be determined by the Syrian people, not by some external player,' Peskov said.
Western media earlier reported that Russia had allegedly made a deal with the United States and Saudi Arabia on ousting Syrian leader Bashar Assad. Moreover, French President Francois Hollande said on Monday that he hoped to convince Moscow of the need for Assad to step down.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Moscow considers recent media reports indicating changes in its stance on Syria and the future of President Bashar Assad as false allegations aimed at shifting responsibility for the failure of Western policies in the Middle East.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011 as government forces loyal to President Assad have been fighting several opposition and radical Islamist militant groups, including Nusra Front and Islamic State.
A number of Western countries have long supported what they call 'moderate' rebel fighters, while Russia has repeatedly stated that Assad is the legitimate president of Syria, and that the people of Syria must choose their government and leaders without outside intervention.
In August, the Syrian president said that he highly appreciated Russia's assistance, by which Moscow had proved its firm position in supporting Damascus during the military conflict.
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