Russian FM: Syrian rivals vowed to hold direct talks

January 22, 2014 19:19

MONTREUX, Switzerland - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after international talks in Switzerland on Wednesday that the rival Syrian delegations said they would sit down for direct talks on Friday and that they should start with confidence-building measures.

Lavrov, who said he held talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem and Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Jarba on Wednesday, urged the opposition and its foreign backers not to focus exclusively on leadership change in Damascus.

At the talks, Jarba demanded the Syrian government delegation sign up to an international plan for handing over power. Moualem insisted President Bashar Assad would not bow to outside demands.

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