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November 14, 2013 AT 5:47 AM
The Kremlin said, that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad discussed plans for a peace conference and progress in the elimination of chemical weapons during a telephone call on Thursday. It gave few details but said Putin had urged Assad's government to do all it can to alleviate the suffering of civilians and "positively assessed" the Syrian government's readiness to send a delegation to the planned peace talks. Putin also voiced concern over what he called persecution of Christians and other religious minorities by extremists in Syria, the Kremlin press service said.