Published February 28, 2013
| Associated Press
MOSCOW – French President Francois Hollande says he hopes to discuss political transition in war-torn Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, whose stance on Syria is crucial to peace settlement.
Speaking ahead of this meeting with Putin at the Kremlin on Thursday afternoon, Hollande told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that Putin's position on Syria can determine how soon peace will come to Syria.
Russia, the most influential backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has dismissed all settlement plans involving Assad's departure as the conflict in Syria has claimed more than 70,000 lives, according to the U.N.
Hollande said on Thursday that he is encouraged by the fact that Russia has acknowledged the influence of the Syrian opposition but would like to see Russia supporting talks on political transition in Syria.