Putin speaks out on Syria settlement plan
Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday articulated his plan for a peaceful settlement to the civil conflict in Syria.
"We believe that the course of action should be as follows -- ending violence, conducting negotiations, searching for a solution, laying down a constitutional basis for the future society, and only then introducing structural changes, not vice versa," Putin said.
"The other way around there would only be chaos," the president said at a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
If incumbent President Bashar al-Assad is removed from power unconstitutionally, the civil war in the country would be "endless", Putin added.