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Russia urges all Syrian sides to stop fighting simultaneously.

Moscow, July 16 (Xinhua-ANI): Russia on Monday urged all Syrian sides to stop hostilities simultaneously to end the 16-month crisis in the country.

Ahead of UN-Arab League joint special envoy Kofi Annan's second visit to Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a press conference that the Syrian sides should also synchronically withdraw heavy weaponry and armed forces from cities under the UN mission's control.

Lavrov said the calls for Russia to persuade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down are "unrealistic", as the president still enjoys supports from a significant part of the Syrian people.

"This is simply unrealistic... he (Assad) will not leave power. This is not because we are defending him, but because there is a very significant part of the Syrian population standing behind him," Lavrov said. (Xinhua-ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jul 16, 2012
Words:147
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