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UN envoy tries to revive Syria peace plan

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Mr. Brahimi was vague about how the plan might be amended this time around. CNN reports that during an appearance on Syrian state-run television today, he said only that, "The Geneva communique had all that is needed for a road map to end the crisis in Syria within few months."

The shift in the opposition's fortunes has led to a corresponding shift in Russia's own position. While Russia, where Brahimi will be later this week, was previously a steadfast supporter of the Assad regime and refused to entertain any proposals for a post-Assad Syria, Moscow now seems "resigned" to the possibility, the AP says.

Reuters reports that Foreign Ministry Spokesman Alexander Lukashevich stated plainly that Mr. Assad's departure could not be treated as a precondition for talks this time around, but did not insist that the possibility of his removal be off the table.

"The biggest disagreement ... is that one side thinks Assad should leave at the start of the process – that is the US position, and the other thinks his departure should be a result of the process – that would be the Russian position," Dmitry Trenin, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center, told Reuters.

But Trenin said battlefield gains made by the Syrian rebels were narrowing the gap between Moscow and Washington.

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