Syrian officials in Moscow for talks

The war in Syria has claimed over 100,000 lives and lasted more than two and a half years.
By Justin Salhani   |   Nov. 18, 2013 at 8:06 AM   |   Comments

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Advisers close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are in Moscow Monday to hold talks with Russian officials over a Geneva based peace conference that hopes to end the war in Syria.

Close Assad aid Buthaina Shaaban and Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad held talks with Russian deputy foreign ministers Gennady Gatilov and Mikhail Bogdanov.

Russian media agencies quoted the foreign ministry as saying, "The official Syrian delegation has arrived in Moscow and will hold talks at the foreign ministry."

The United States and Russia have been working to bring all sides involved in the war in Syria to the table in Geneva. They initially planned on holding a conference in May, but that has been delayed and the war has raged on.

Russia has allegedly invited representatives from the Syrian opposition's National Coalition to Moscow which has been well received but turned down.

Adviser to the opposition Munzer Aqbiq told AFP that "preset official commitments" would prevent the Syrian National Coalition from attending.

The peace deal, called Geneva II, is being organized in order to bring an end to the conflict but preconditions put in place by both sides in Syria has prevented the conference thus far.

[Yahoo! News]

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