Syrian officials head to Moscow for talks on crisis
BEIRUT - Syrian foreign ministry officials headed to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss proposals for ending Syria's 21-month-old crisis apparently made by international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, Syrian and Lebanese sources said.Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad and another aide will sound out Russian officials on the details of meetings with Brahimi in Damascus this week, a Syrian security source said.A Lebanese official close to President Bashar Assad's government said Syrian officials were upbeat after talks with the UN-Arab League envoy, who met Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem on Tuesday and Assad himself the day before."There is a new mood now and something good is happening," the official said, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. "Of course now they (Syrian officials) want to meet with their allies to discuss these new developments."More than 44,000 Syrians have died in the revolt against four decades of Assad family rule, a conflict that began with peaceful protests but which has descended into civil war.
Brazil's FM: Israel tries to create smokescreen over Gaza war