Russia "optimistic" on Syria peace talks early next year

By REUTERS
December 16, 2014 19:11

PARIS - Russia is optimistic at the prospect of renewed talks between opposition figures and the Syrian government early next year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

Moscow, an ally of the Syrian government, has pushed to restart talks that collapsed in Geneva in February, inviting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem to visit Moscow after a similar visit by a former Syrian opposition chief in November.

"So far from what we hear from the majority of our interlocutors, both in the opposition and the government of Syria, we can be optimistic that this process (of talks) could at least be tried early next year," Lavrov told France 24 TV.

Lavrov said he wanted Syrian opposition groups to agree among themselves on a common approach before setting up direct talks with the Damascus government. He did not specify which opposition groups should take part.


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