Putin to raise Syria with Cameron in London: Kremlin
President Vladimir Putin will strongly defend Russia's position on the Syria conflict when he meets British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Thursday, his spokesman said.
“We expect to have another opportunity to continue our dialogue and explain to the British side our well-argued, consistent and absolutely clear position on the (Syria) problem,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies.
Peskov also dismissed comments by Cameron suggesting that Putin had accepted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inevitable removal from power.
“We would attribute those comments to a translation mistake,” Peskov said.
Cameron said in June that he was led to believe by Putin at a regional summit in Mexico that the Russian leader “does not want Assad remaining in charge.”
Russia and ally China have jointly blocked three previous UN Security Council efforts to sanction Assad’s government over its crackdown on the opposition and refused to join Western calls for his ouster.
Cameron has said he hoped to use Putin’s visit — which will allow the sports-mad president watch the judo finals at the Olympic Games — to promote closer trade ties.
Peskov said Putin intended to also cover other issues and would not let “existing issues halt the expansion of potentially advanced cooperation in various fields”.