Putin says Syria's Assad is open to working with some rebels | Reuters
“Russia has rejected Western calls for Assad to step down. On Thursday, Putin repeated his view that Syria’s leadership could only be decided by the Syrian people, not outside powers.” Full story here.
Also see: Syria’s Assad can stay only until transition council: Saudi | AFP
“[T]he body can be formed while Assad is in office, but once it’s set up and running, there is no role for him”.
And: Iran will not back Syria’s Assad ‘forever,’ minister says | AFP
“We are not working for Assad to stay in power forever as president. But we are very cognisant of his role in the fight against terrorism and the national unity of that country.”
And: Britain says Syria’s Assad must go ‘at some point’ | Reuters
“We are ready to engage with anyone who is willing to talk about what that political transition in Syria might look like, but we are very clear from our point of view it must involve, at some point, the departure of Bashar al-Assad,”