AMMAN - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urged the Syrian opposition to abandon its precondition that President Bashar Assad step down before any talks can be held on ending the conflict.
Speaking after meeting former Syrian prime minister Riad Hijab, who defected to Jordan last August, Lavrov accused the opposition of disregarding Syrian lives by demanding the immediate removal of Assad.
"The most important thing is stopping the violence immediately. If it is more important to the other side to change the Assad regime then they want to continue the bloodbath in Syria," Lavrov said in remarks translated from Russian.
"Russia is searching for a political solution in which Bashar Assad stays," he told Arabic language Al-Arabiya television.