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LOS CABOS, June 20 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Wednesday that there still are differences between Russia and its Western partners so far in approaches to the situation in Syria.
Speaking at a news conference here at the close of the G20 summit, Putin reiterated Moscow's "principled position" on the issue. He said the position is that "noone has a right to decide for other peoples as to who must be brought to power in this or that country, and who must be barred from it". "A certain proportion of Syrian people that is represented by the Opposition wants President (Bashar) Assad to quit. However, that proportion does not represent the entire Syrian people," the RF President pointed out.
"It is important that not just a change-over of regime come about. It is essential to secure that this be followed up by peace and cessation of bloodshed," Putin went on to say. "With this end in view, a good deal of work must be done in advance so as to persuade the parties involved in the conflict to cease bloodshed and reach an understanding on how they will live henceforth. This must be done in advance, not just in a manner that is manifest in North Africa where bloodshed is being continued".
Putin expressed hope that his Western partners heeded his view and would agree with such an approach. "However, for the time being, differences still remain so far," the RF President said, adding that endeavours to reach agreement would be continued.