Russia denies discussing post-Assad Syria scenario
MOSCOWRussia denied the claims that it is discussing post-Assad Syria emphasizing Moscow’s strong opposition to external interference amid fresh violence between armed rebels and Syrian troops.
Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied a June 14 statement by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that Moscow and Washington “are continuing to talk about a post-Assad transition strategy,” The Associated Press reported. “It’s not true that we are discussing Syria’s fate after Bashar al-Assad,” Lavrov said on June 15 following talks in Moscow with his Iraqi counterpart Hosyar Zabari. “We do not get involved in overthrowing regimes - neither through approval of unilateral actions by the U.N. Security Council nor by participation in any political plots,” Lavrov said, Reuters reported.
Nuland was asked at a news conference on June 14 whether the United States and Russia were discussing a transition of power similar to that seen in Yemen last year, in which President Ali Abdullah Saleh was replaced by a deputy. “We are continuing to talk about a post-Assad transition strategy in that context,” she said. Also, on June 14, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. held “constructive” talks with Russia.
30,800 Syrians in Turkey
On the ground, nine bodies were found in a town near Damascus, activists said. Also, activists said Syrian troops are shelling rebel-held areas and clashing with opposition rebels across the country. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey has topped 30,800, a Turkish foreign ministry official told Agence France-Presse on June 15. “Four hundred more Syrians crossed into Turkey on [June 14],” said the official.