Former Syrian general now in opposition says US, Russia can work together to end conflict

Published March 01, 2013

| Associated Press

A leading Syrian opposition figure visiting Moscow says that Russia and the United States could act as co-guarantors of a ceasefire in Syria.

Manaf Tlass, a former close confidant of Syrian President Bashar Assad who defected last summer, told the state-run Voice of Russia radio station that Russia could help achieve peace in Syria by backing moderate opposition forces.

Tlass, who held talks with senior Russian officials in Moscow, said he came as part of efforts to negotiate a peace settlement. He added that "Russia has enough political clout to help find a solution."

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed a new-found willingness to listen to Western arguments for solving the crisis after meeting his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, on Thursday. Over 70,000 people have died in the two-year conflict.