Syrian Opposition Positive About Informal Talks in Russia

MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) – Representatives of Syria’s Western-backed opposition spoke positively of Russia’s proposal to host informal peace talks involving all political forces in the civil war, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Syrian opposition envoys in Geneva earlier in the day. The meetings focused mainly on preparations for an international peace conference proposed by Russia and the United States in May and designed to bring all sides of the Syrian civil war together.

The Syrian envoys demonstrated a “positive attitude” to Moscow’s proposal and “expressed their interest in taking part,” the Russian ministry said in a statement.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said the proposed meeting may “lay a basis for informal contacts between the warring parties” and help understand whether any dialogue between them is possible.

The Associated Press quoted Syrian opposition figure Kamal Labwani as saying the Russian offer was still being considered.

Another Syrian opposition official who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the talks said the coalition had already decided to send experts to Moscow to discuss humanitarian corridors.

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