Syria says ready to meet opposition in Moscow

December 27, 2014 2:51 pm
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Syrian children who fled the violence in Raqa province play in the mud at an unofficial refugee camp in al-Saadiyeh in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley on December 20, 2014/AFP
Syrian children who fled the violence in Raqa province play in the mud at an unofficial refugee camp in al-Saadiyeh in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley on December 20, 2014/AFP

, Damascus, Dec 27- Syria is ready to meet with the country’s opposition in Moscow in an effort to find a way out of the nearly four year civil war, a government official said Saturday.

“Syria is ready to participate in a preliminary and consultative meeting in Moscow to respond to the aspirations of Syrians who are trying to find a solution to the crisis,” the foreign ministry official said, quoted by SANA state news agency.

The decision followed talks between Syria and Russia about a possible meeting, the official said.

“The Syrian Arab Republic has always been ready for dialogue with those who believe in its unity, sovereignty and freedom of choice,” the official added.

Syria’s war began as a pro democracy revolt, but escalated into a multi sided civil war drawing foreign jihadists after President Bashar al Assad’s regime began a massive crackdown on dissent.

An estimated 200,000 people have been killed, and half the population have been forced to flee their homes.

Russia has been trying to relaunch peace talks for Syria that would include meetings between delegates of the regime and the fractured opposition.

Moscow said on Thursday that it planned to host delegations from the Syrian opposition in late January, possibly followed by a visit by regime representatives that could bring the two sides together for talks.

Assad has said he backs the efforts by his key ally.

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