Assad Asks Russia to Broker Talks With Opposition Over Revolt, Lavrov Says

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asked Russia to broker talks with opposition groups in a bid to end 11 months of violence in the Middle Eastern country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks in Damascus today, according to a pool report from Russian news service Itar-Tass.

``It's clear that the efforts to end the violence must be accompanied with the initiation of a dialog among all political forces,'' Lavrov said. ``Today we received confirmation of the Syrian president's readiness to cooperate on this.''

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brad Cook at

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