MADRID, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - About 80 leaders of various Syrian opposition movements and organizations met on Monday in Madrid to forge a common position for the upcoming international conference on Syria, the EFE news agency reported.
The Madrid meeting’s participants also discussed appointing a single representative for all opposition movements. According to some participants, the former leader of Syria's opposition National Coalition, Moaz al-Khatib, may be appointed to the post.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced after a Moscow meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on May 7 that the two countries had decided to hold an international conference at the end of May, aimed at facilitating a solution to the Syrian crisis through political dialogue. Moscow wants to involve all the nations which took part in the Geneva conference on Syria last summer.
Lavrov said at a meeting on Monday with Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland on Monday that one of the current primary tasks was to “ensure that opposition forces agree to participate in the conference without preconditions.”
The second task, Lavrov said, was to compile a “truly representative” list of the participants, which gives an opportunity to “discuss all the issues seriously.”
He said that the date of the conference should be set only when an agreement is reached on these primary tasks.