Syria dismisses Assad exit claims

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Copy of iol pic wld syria assad supporter REUTERS A woman kisses a picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a demonstration in support of al-Assad.

Damascus -

Comments by Russia's envoy to Paris that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is ready to give up power in a “civilised manner” are “totally baseless,” Syrian state television said on Friday.

“The comments attributed to the Russian ambassador to Paris on the fact that President Assad would agree to relinquish power in a civilised manner are totally baseless,” the broadcaster said.

The denial came after Russia's envoy to Paris Alexander Orlov told Radio France International (RFI) in an interview that Assad was ready to cede power but only in a “civilised manner.”

Orlov said Assad had accepted a transition plan agreed by world powers in Geneva and named a representative for talks with the opposition.

“That is to say, he is accepting to go - but to go in a civilised manner,” he said.

Asked if Assad's departure was only a matter of time, Orlov said: “Personally I share your opinion. I believe it will be difficult for him to stay after everything that has happened.” - Sapa-AFP

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