News / Europe

France: Moscow Involved in Post-Assad Talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, June 9, 2012.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, June 9, 2012.
Lisa Bryant
PARIS - Russia denies holding talks with western nations about the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but French officials say talks involving Moscow officials are taking place.

In an interview on French radio, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said discussions among U.S., French and Russian officials, along with international mediator Kofi Annan, are underway to prepare for a Syria without its current leader, President Bashar al-Assad.

Explaining that Russia, Syria's staunchest international ally, recognizes Assad is a tyrant and assassin, he said, Moscow is not attached to him as a person but is worried about who would replace him if driven from power.

While Fabius said an interim post-Assad scenario could draw on opposition leaders, along with former members of the Assad government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied holding any discussions about Assad's departure.

In remarks broadcast on France 24 television, Lavrov said "no such discussions" took place, and that Russia is "not involved in regime change," either through the United Nations Security Council or political plotting.

The international community is looking for ways to end the increasingly violent Syrian crisis that France describes as a civil war.

The conflict escalated this week, with a fierce offensive by the Syrian regime against rebel-held areas.

Foreign Minister Fabius said France will not supply arms to the rebels because it would escalate the fighting. But, he added, Paris might supply communications material to the rebels, which would be a first.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 16, 2012 12:43 PM
Sergei Lavrov said Russia does "not get involved in overthrowing regimes" ... But they do get involved in aiding mass murderers, like Assad. Killing innocent men, women and children. I hope the entire world now unites against Russia, slaps the Russian Governments hand, and doesn't do business with them. If you are helping cold blooded killers, you are just as guilty and don't you forget that Putin. We love the Russian people, we can't stand Putin's stupid decisions, that doesn't make him a great leader, and the world shouldn't do business with people like that. I am hoping for an Arab Spring in Russia next.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs