Russia hopes for progress at current round of intra-Syrian talks

The fate of Assad 'is no subject of any talks with participation of Russia'

Moscow hopes that some progress will be achieved over the course of the current round of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, despite the differences among the counterparts, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

"As for the fate of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad, I have to once again reiterate that this is no subject of any talks with participation of Russia," he said in an interview with Interfax on April 18.

This was his answer to a question from the news agency about the extent of an impact that the differences on al-Assad's fate existing between Russia and the U.S. make on the Geneva negotiating process and whether Moscow is ready to influence Damascus in order to make the government delegation become more flexible in this regard.

"This issue [of al-Assad's fate] is to be discussed by the Syrian sides - the opposition groups and government delegation - which I hope will manage, despite all the differences, to make advancement in the course of the current round," Ryabkov added.

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