MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s foreign minister met with the head of the main Western-backed Syrian opposition group in exile who arrived in Moscow on Tuesday after weeks of delays.
Sergei Lavrov told Syrian National Coalition head Ahmad Jarba and other coalition members that Syrians should be allowed to search for a peaceful solution to the ongoing civil war without any outside pressure.
He also called for the full implementation of a 2012 Geneva communique that stipulates anti-terrorism efforts, a ceasefire, unimpeded humanitarian aid and exchanging prisoners.
The sides also discussed the first round of reconciliation talks that ended in Geneva last week.
“Jarba reconfirmed the National Coalition’s participation in the forthcoming second round of international talks in Geneva due February 10,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Russia, which has supported Syrian President Bashar Assad in the ongoing conflict between armed rebels and government forces in the Middle Eastern country, first invited National Coalition leaders to visit Moscow back in September.
Jarba had earlier expressed interest in visiting Moscow, but said he was unable to come during the period suggested by Russia due to prior commitments.