Syria, Putin to discuss relaunching talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with the Syria's foreign minister to discuss relaunching peace talks with the opposition, officials say.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia's Vladimir Putin will meet with Syria's foreign minister to discuss relaunching peace talks. (AAP)

A high-level Syrian delegation is to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss a possible relaunch of peace talks with the opposition, a senior Syrian official says.

"President Putin will receive the delegation headed by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, and the meeting will centre on the relaunch of negotiations," he said of the talks next Wednesday with the key Damascus ally.

"The fact that Putin is receiving the delegation immediately shows the importance he's putting on this visit, because meetings in Moscow are usually held with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov," the source told AFP.

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Waddah Abed Rabbo, editor-in-chief of Al-Watan daily, which is close to the regime, said the meeting "will revolve around ideas proposed by Moscow to bring together the state and 'an opposition' and initiate a first dialogue".

According to Al-Watan, Russia aims to convene a "Syrian-to-Syrian dialogue" in Moscow involving "independent" members of the exiled Syrian National Council coalition alongside the regime's tolerated domestic opposition.

Figures such as ex-SNC leader Moaz al-Khatib, who held talks at the Russian foreign ministry on November 7, would be included, it said.

Al-Watan said the plan could result in a transitional government including "independent" opposition figures, a legislative election in early 2016 and even a new constitution.


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Published 21 November 2014 at 5:00am

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