PARIS (AP) - Russia's ambassador to France says Moscow believes Syria's president is ready to step down "in a civilized way." But the Syrian government immediately denied it.
Alexandre Orlov told RFI on Friday that "personally ... I think it will be difficult for him to stay in office given everything that's happened."
He noted that Assad accepted the final statement of the June 30 Geneva agreement for a transition "toward a more democratic regime" and in essence this meant that "he accepted to leave, but leave in a civilized way."
Orlov's statement came after Russia and China blocked a Security Council vote to turn up pressure on Assad and after an attack killed three top Syrian defense officials.