Putin articulates Syria settlement plan

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday articulated his plan for a peaceful settlement to the civil conflict in Syria.

“We believe that the course of action should be as follows: ending violence, conducting negotiations, searching for a solution, laying down a constitutional basis for the future society [first], and only then introducing structural changes, not vice versa. The other way around there would only be chaos,” Putin said at a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

If incumbent President Bashar Assad is removed from power unconstitutionally, the civil war in the country would be “endless,” Putin added.

The Russian president said Syria’s future should be decided “not by a military victory or defeat of one of the sides, but by negotiations, on the basis of compromise and agreements reached.”

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