Russia open to meeting with Syrian opposition
MOSCOW — Russia is ready to meet with leaders of the opposition group seeking to overthrow Moscow's ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, a high Russian official confirmed on Friday.
“We expressed readiness to meet with (the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces) head A.M. al-Khatib and are still inclined to do it,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a news conference in Moscow after meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Kamel Amr. “We understand that they don't have objections to the proposal to meet.”
Russia has long been one of Assad's staunchest supporters, along with Iran. However, in recent weeks Russian officials have signaled an increased openness to the possibility that his regime may not survive.
Lavrov spoke on the eve of his meeting Saturday with U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
Lavrov met with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad on Thursday. He said during the meeting the Russians “actively compelled — something we have been doing in recent months — the Syrian leadership to make fully concrete its declared readiness for dialog with the opposition.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Deepening U.S. commitment to Kobani ties Obama’s Islamic State effort to Kurds’ fate
- Submarine hunt sends Cold War chill across Baltic
- Iran acts to comply with interim nuclear deal with world powers, IAEA says
- Abbas seems desperate in round of belligerent rhetoric
- Loophole rewards expelled Nazi suspects with Social Security benefits
- Spate of attacks kills dozens in Iraq, appears to target Shiites
- Camel likely killed wildlife park owner who didn’t give him can of Coke
- Benghazi resigned to clashes as Islamist militias battle forces loyal to government
- Russia, Ukraine leaders signal progress in talks on peace, gas
- Fiercest fighting in days hits Syrian border town of Kobani
- Pakistan eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons, analysts say