Syria opposition chief due in Moscow for more talks

Syria opposition chief due in Moscow for more talks
Thu Jan 30, 2014 21:42:15

Ahmad Jarba, head of the Syrian opposition, is going to visit Moscow on the invitation of Russian authorities who have been trying to make a deal between sides of the Syrian conflict to end the ongoing war in the Arab country.

"Mr. Jarba has accepted the Russian invitation and will go to Moscow on February 4," Monzer Aqbiq, head advisor to the leader of the so-called Syrian National Coalition, said on Thursday.

The coalition had on Wednesday confirmed to AFP that it planned to hold talks with Russia.

Russia has been trying to help making a deal between Syrian foes to end the war and has been seen one of the key countries that canceled a recent controversial plan by the US government to attack Syria.

With the opposition backed strongly by the United States, an agreement between Washington and Moscow last year paved the way for the Geneva peace talks which mark the first time Syria's two sides have sat down since the war erupted.

Russia had earlier invited Jarba to Moscow for a visit which would have coincided with a trip by representatives from President Bashar al-Assad's government.

At the time, Jarba's staff said that he was interested in travelling there, but that was unable to do so due to prior commitments.

The goal of the current Geneva talks, into their sixth day on Thursday, is to finally implement calls for a political solution in Syria made at an international summit in the Swiss city in 2012.

The opposition wants President Assad's departure to be assured from the start, but the government says that cannot be made a precondition for political change.


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