MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Russian President’s special envoy for the Middle East and North Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov received on Thursday a delegation of U.S. political scientists led by the former US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalizad, and the CEO of the Washington-based Center for the National Interest, Dimitri Simes, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"In the course of the conversation, the participants discussed the situation in Syria and the prospects for Russian-US collaboration for resolution of the crisis there," the report said.
"The Russian side emphasized its firm conviction that only a political process steered by the Syrians themselves and the unconditional respect for Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity can lay the groundwork for an assured settlement of the conflict," the ministry said.
Bogdanov and his interlocutors also took up the issue of the September 25 referendum on independence in Iraqi Kurdistan.
"They expressed a common opinion that all the litigious issues in relations between Iraq’s federal authorities and the leadership of the Kurdish autonomous area should be untangled in the spirit of constructive dialogue aiming to tap a mutually acceptable formula of co-existence within a united Iraqi state," the ministry said.