Russia had no secret contacts with U.S. or other countries on al-Assad's future - Lavrov

Russia and the United States are not conducting any secret talks on the future of the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

"We never conduct any secret talks on the future of third countries with anyone. We did not have any secret contacts with Americans or anyone else about a deal concerning the future of Bashar al-Assad," he said at a press conference on Monday.

"We have said on many occasions that we are not concerned about a specific character in the Syrian leadership including Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian people is our main concern, and for this people to feel at least some relief violence must be stopped on both sides," Lavrov said.

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