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Russia: Syrian leaders agree 'in principle' to attend Geneva talks

May 24, 2013 at 7:58 AM

MOSCOW, May 24 (UPI) -- The Russian Foreign Ministry said Syrian leaders have agreed "in principle" to attend an international conference in Geneva on the long-running Syrian conflict.

The ministry said the Syrian leaders would participate in the June conference so "Syrians themselves [could] find a political path to a solution" to the civil war that began in March 2011, the BBC reported Friday.

"We note with satisfaction that we have received an agreement in principle from Damascus to attend the international conference ... ," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

The conflict is "ruinous for the nation and region," he said.

Syria's main opposition group was discussing its participation in the conference.

The international conference, supported by Russia and the United States, seeks to provide a political solution to the crisis in Syria. The solution is based on the 2012 recommendations of the U.N.-backed Action Group for Syria, which include a call for an immediate end to the violence and the establishment of a transitional government that could include officials from President Bashar Assad's regime and opposition members.

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