Lavrov: Assad never asked Russia for political asylum

14:47, 26 January 2016
World
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Syrian President Bashar Assad has not asked Russia for political asylum, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

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"Nobody has asked us for political asylum. No offers of the sort have been made," Lavrov said, TASS wrote.

He also dismissed media rumors the former chief of the General Staff's intelligence directorate GRU, Igor Sergun, had allegedly asked Assad to step down.

"I've read the speculations published with reference to late Igor Sergun claiming that he had allegedly made a trip to Damascus to ask Assad to resign," Lavrov said. "This is not true. Such a conversation with Assad was not necessary."

The Financial Times earlier quoted anonymous sources in Western secret services as saying that Igor Sergun, the head of the General Staff's intelligence directorate GRU had allegedly made a trip to Damascus to address Assad on Russian President Vladimir Putin's behalf with a request to leave the post of Syria's president. The Financial Times claimed Assad had declined.

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