CAIRO - Russia on Monday endorsed an Egyptian initiative to reconvene four Middle East powers to try to resolve the Syrian crisis after Saudi Arabia failed to show up for the last two meetings of the group, blunting its clout.
Cairo launched talks involving countries that include three opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad - Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - and Iran, a staunch ally in his conflict with rebels fighting to overthrow him.
Riyadh, which has long tussled with Tehran for regional influence, sent a representative to preparatory talks on Sept. 10 but skipped two subsequent ministerial meetings.
"We fully support the regional quartet initiative that President Morsi has launched to resolve the Syrian crisis," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after discussions with Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr in Cairo.
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