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Assad sends envoy to Moscow for talks on ending Syria's conflict

The Syrian senior diplomat is expected to discuss the UN mediator's proposals for ending the conflict. Russia, meanwhile, has signaled growing acceptance of President Assad exiting power.

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, December 20. Any solution to the conflict in Syria must ensure President Bashar al-Assad's forces and his opponents do not simply swap roles and fight on forever, Putin said on Thursday.

Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent a senior diplomat to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss proposals to end the conflict convulsing his country made by international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, Syrian and Lebanese sources said.

Brahimi, who saw Assad on Monday and is planning to hold a series of meetings with Syrian officials and dissidents in Damascus this week, is trying to broker a peaceful transfer of power, but has disclosed little about how this might be done.

More than 44,000 Syrians have been killed in a revolt against four decades of Assad family rule, a conflict that began with peaceful protests in March last year, but has since descended into civil war.

 
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