MOSCOW: Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem was to hold talks in Moscow today with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as Russia puts pressure on both the opposition and the Syrian regime to open direct talks to end their two-year conflict.
Lavrov said last week there were positive signs from both sides of a new willingness to talk but called on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to turn oft-stated words about its readiness for dialogue into deeds.
Russia is increasing its efforts for a rapid solution to the Syrian crisis, a Russian foreign ministry official told the RIA Novosti news agency.
Muallem’s visit is a rare trip by a top Syrian official outside the country.
Russia is however one of the few major powers to maintain any kind of ties with Assad’s regime.