Russia agrees to talk to Syrian opposition, urges Assad to do the same
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is circled by journalists in Moscow on Friday, as he meets his visiting Egypt counterpart Mohamed Amr on the Syrian crisis. (AFP PHOTO / NATALIA KOLESNIKOV)
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Russia is preparing to hold talks with Syrian opposition figures, following its admission that President Assad could lose the war, the BBC reported on Friday.
Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said he wanted the Syrian president to follow his lead in talking to the rebels.
Speaking at a news conference in Moscow on Friday, Mr. Lavrov said he contacted the opposition via Russian diplomats in Egypt, adding that Russia had "expressed readiness to conduct a meeting" with opposition leader, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib.
However, Russia has still not formally recognized the Syrian opposition coalition and Mr. Lavrov said their position had not changed despite the communications.
The former Soviet state has condemned the U.S. and Europe in the past for giving legitmacy to the Syrian rebels.