Russian envoy to meet Syria opposition 'in near future'

10th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The special envoy of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday he would "in the very near future" meet representatives of the Syrian opposition as Moscow calls for a diplomatic solution to the unrest in the Arab country.

"I will receive a delegation of the Syrian opposition in Moscow in the very near future," Mikhail Margelov, the Kremlin's representative to Africa, told a news conference.

He spoke after his trip to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi where Russia seeks to help mediate between strongman leader Moamer Kadhafi and rebels.

He did not provide further details about his plans to meet the Syrian delegation.

A foreign ministry official confirmed separately that Russia was planning to host representatives of the Syrian opposition but said it was too early to provide any details.

"The idea of such meeting indeed exists but all the questions -- who, where, with whom and where -- are in the preparatory stage," the Interfax news agency quoted Alexander Yefimov, the foreign ministry's deputy director for north Africa and the Middle East, as saying.

On Thursday Russia reiterated its opposition to a UN Security Council resolution on Syria, saying it would be best if the Syrians themselves dealt with the unrest.

Human rights groups say more than 1,100 people have been killed throughout the country since the opposition protests against the Assad regime erupted in mid-March.

© 2011 AFP

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