Russia says Assad ‘not bluffing’ about staying put

A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sits on a table before a press conference by Buthaina Shaaban, special envoy of the President, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. Shaaban Friday criticized Britain's decision to provide non-lethal military equipment to Syrian rebels, saying it will hinder efforts for peace in the strife-torn country. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad "is not bluffing" about his determination to stay in power, Russia's foreign minister said in comments broadcast Friday, as negotiations to free 21 U.N. peacekeepers held by Syrian rebels dragged into a third day.

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