Russia is with President Bashar al Assad

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Russia has pushed for reforms in Syria and promoted a settlement to end uprising in the country without removing President Bashar al-Assad from power.

The call came during meeting of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with President Bashar al-Assad inDamascus. Lavrov called for a solution to the crisis on the basis of the Arab League initiatives. After meeting Mr Lavrov‚ President Assad said he was willing to co-operate with any efforts towards stability. The United Stateshas closed its embassy inSyriaand several European and Gulf countries have recalled their ambassadors. The moves came as Syrian forces continued their fierce assault on the restive city of Homs. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkeywould launch a new initiative with countries that stand by the Syrian people instead of the regime. Meanwhile‚ the Gulf Arab states say they are expelling Syrian ambassadors in their countries asDamascushas rejected Arab attempts to end eleven months of bloodshed in the country

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