Bashar al-Assad meets Russian deputy Foreign Minister in Damascus

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (centre, on R) meets Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (centre, on L) in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on September 18, 2013. Russia denounced U.N. investigators' findings on a poison gas attack in Syria as preconceived and tainted by politics on Wednesday, stepping up its criticism of a report Western nations said proved Assad's forces were responsible. Source: Reuters

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