Russia actively persuading Assad regime to talk to opposition Lavrov

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
5 min read
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov invited Syrian National Coalition opposition head Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib (pictured) for talks either in Moscow or a foreign location like Geneva or Cairo. (Reuters)
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov invited Syrian National Coalition opposition head Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib (pictured) for talks either in Moscow or a foreign location like Geneva or Cairo. (Reuters)
Advertisement
Yet Russia is also involved in a frantic round of year-end diplomacy seeking to end the crisis.

A Syrian deputy foreign minister visited Moscow on Thursday and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to meet U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in the Russian capital on Saturday.

Russia had already indicated it was ready to hold talks with the Syrian opposition who until now have regarded Moscow with suspicion over its refusal to break ties with the Assad regime.

Bogdanov also said he expected there to be a new three-way meeting between Brahimi and U.S. and Russian representatives on the Syrian crisis in January.

“We will hear what Lakhdar Brahimi says about the Syrian crisis and likely there will be a decision on a new ‘triple B’ meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, (US Deputy Secretary of State) William Burns and Mikhail Bogdanov,” he said.

“But this will be in January, after the (Russian New Year) holidays,” Bogdanov said.

Meanwhile, Russia and the U.N called Thursday for the resuscitation of a peace initiative for Syria that never got off the ground when it was proposed months ago because both parties to the conflict rejected it.

Assad’s government did not comment on the attempt to revive the proposal, and a coordinator for the rebels seeking to end Assad’s rule called the plan “illogical.”

“No one in the opposition can accept this, and if they accept it, it will be refused by the Syrian people,” the Associated Press reported Bassam Al-Dada, a Turkey-based coordinator with the rebel Free Syrian Army, as saying. He said Assad’s forces have killed too many people for him to play a role in any solution.

Anti-regime activists say more than 40,000 people have been killed since the revolt against Assad began in March 2011.

Top Content Trending