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Syria's Assad says giving up power not up for discussion: Interfax

Published on Jan 19, 2014 6:39 PM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in Damascus on Sunday he has no intention of giving up power and the issue is not up for discussion, Russian agency Interfax reported.

"If we wanted to give up, we would have done so at the very beginning. We are on guard for our country. This issue is not up for discussion," he was reported as telling visiting Russian parliamentarians days ahead of an internationally sponsored peace conference on Syria.