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Syria deputy foreign minister travels to Moscow: Airport source

Published on Dec 26, 2012 9:20 PM
 A member of the Free Syrian Army takes up position in the old city of Aleppo on December 23, 2012. --PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIRUT (AFP) - Syria's deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad took a midnight flight from Beirut to Moscow, an airport source told AFP on Wednesday, amid reports of a US-Russian initiative for a transition in Syria.

"Accompanied by foreign ministry official Ahmed Arnus, Muqdad's Aeroflot flight to Moscow took off from Beirut airport at midnight" on Tuesday, the airport source said, on condition of anonymity.

French daily Le Figaro has reported that the new initiative would see President Bashar al-Assad staying in power until 2014 while preventing him from further renewing his mandate.

Muqdad's visit to Moscow comes as UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi visits Syria in a bid to persuade the warring parties to negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict, in which according to activists 45,000 people have died.

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