Syria opposition to press case with Russia: reports

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Members of Syria's opposition will travel to Moscow this week for talks with a top official aimed at putting more pressure on President Bashar al-Assad, news reports said Monday.

Mikhail Margelov, head of the upper chamber of parliament's foreign affairs committee and the Kremlin's special envoy to Africa, said the second such talks since June would be held on Thursday or Friday.

"The main attention will focus on the processes occurring within the opposition itself," Margelov told the Interfax news agency.

The group Margelov met in Moscow on June 28 included the rights advocate Radwan Ziadeh, who heads the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies in Washington.

Margelov did not disclose who was coming to Moscow on this occasion.

Russia on Saturday criticised the European Union for imposing a unilateral embargo on oil imports on its Soviet era ally and has called on the opposition to halt their protests and engage in direct negotiations with Assad.

A top Russian arms exports official said last month that Moscow also intended to fulfill its weapons delivery contracts to Syria despite Washington's call for a global end to such sales.

© 2011 AFP

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