KyivPost

Russian envoy to France: Assad ready to step down

Print version
July 20, 2012, 2:11 p.m. | World — by Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Annan discussed the Syria crisis with Lavrov on Monday, and met with President Putin on Tuesday. The UN and Arab League envoy to the Syrian crisis has begun his meeting with the Russian president by saying that Syria is at a crossroads, as violence escalates.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

PARIS — Russia's ambassador to France says Moscow believes Syria's president is ready to step down "in a civilized way." But the Syrian government immediately denied it.

Alexandre Orlov told RFI on Friday that "personally ... I think it will be difficult for him to stay in office given everything that's happened."

He noted that Assad accepted the final statement of the June 30 Geneva agreement for a transition "toward a more democratic regime" and in essence this meant that "he accepted to leave, but leave in a civilized way."

Orlov's statement came after Russia and China blocked a Security Council vote to turn up pressure on Assad and after an attack killed three top Syrian defense officials.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/kyivpost/. The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.

KyivPost

© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.