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The Boston Globe


Assad will never leave Syria, Russian official says

Minister chides rebels over talks

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign minister said Saturday there was ‘‘no possibility’’ of persuading President Bashar Assad to leave Syria, leaving little hope for a breakthrough in the standoff.

Sergei V. Lavrov also said that opposition leaders’ insistence on Assad’s departure as a precondition for peace talks would come at the cost of ‘‘more and more lives of Syrian citizens’’ in a conflict that has already killed tens of thousands.

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