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Syria opposition president presses Russia on Assad

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Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba
Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad Jarba
Syria's opposition leader met Russia's top diplomat on Tuesday in a bid to persuade Moscow to push its ally Damascus to agree to a transitional government for the war-scarred nation, AFP reported.
Syrian National Coalition chief Ahmad Jarba met Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after an inconclusive 10-day peace conference in Geneva ended on Friday without a commitment from Damascus to attend a new round of negotiations set for February 10.
But Assad's delegation and the opposition made no progress in clinching local ceasefires or permission for humanitarian corridors to some of the country's more devastated cities such as Homs.
Jarba stressed that the umbrella opposition group was especially concerned with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem's refusal in Geneva to hold any discussion about a transitional government that could pave the way for Assad's removal from power.
"We told the Russian leaders that we are open to any solutions that ensure Syria's future -- a future that is free of Assad and his war criminals, " Jarba said.
Jarba earlier said Lavrov had assured him that the Kremlin's position on Assad's role was not set in stone.

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