Russia's FM arrives in Syria for talks with Assad

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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia says its foreign minister has arrived in Syria for talks with President Bashar Assad.

The foreign ministry said Tuesday that Sergei Lavrov is joined by Russia's foreign intelligence chief Mikhail Fradkov.

The Kremlin has been a staunch ally of President Assad although Moscow has also hosted talks with Syrian opposition leaders.

Russia and China vetoed on Saturday a Western- and Arab-backed resolution at the United Nations condemning the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent and calling on him to transfer some of his powers to his deputy. The Syrian government had earlier rejected the Arab plan as intervention in Syria's internal affairs.