Assad vows to crack down on Syria 'radicals': Russia
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told his ally Russia on Tuesday he intended to continue fighting "radical and fundamentalist" forces in the Arab country, the Kremlin said.
"Bashar Assad said the Syrian leadership is doing and will continue to do everything to allow for the free expression of Syrian citizens' will," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's office said in a statement.
"At the same time, Syria will not stand for the actions of radical and fundamentalist groups," the statement added.
Russia has spoken out firmly against foreign intervention against its traditional Middle East ally and earlier this month rejected calls for a special UN Security Council meeting on Syria.
Moscow also helped block an April attempt by the Security Council to adopt a statement condemning the violence.
The Kremlin statement said Medvedev urged Assad to speed up political reforms in Syria and engage in "a broad dialogue with the country's general public."
© 2011 AFP