Russia denies discussing future of Syria’s Assad with Iran and Turkey

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov arrives for a press conference on June 28, 2014 in Damascus during an official visit in the Syrian capital.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that Russia is not discussing the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in its talks with Iran and Turkey.

In an interview with Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday, Ryabkov said Assad’s future is “absolutely not a topic for discussion right now” between Russia, Iran and Turkey.

The foreign and defense ministers of the three countries met in Moscow on Tuesday and agreed to help broker a new peace deal for Syria.

Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed that the number one priority in Syria is not regime change, but suppressing the terrorist threat.

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