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Russian diplomat, Syrian opposition leader discuss peace conference preparations

January 14, 2014, 22:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The sides confirmed their common understanding that a comprehensive political process should be launched as soon as possible
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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

MOSCOW, January 14, 22:16 /ITAR-TASS/. A Russian deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, and a Syrian opposition leader discussed on Tuesday preparations for an international peace conference on Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

During the talks, Bogdanov, who is also Russia’s special presidential envoy for the Middle East, and Qadri Jamil, a leader of Syria’s Popular Front for Change and Liberation, focused on efforts being made to prepare for the conference, dubbed ‘Geneva-2,’ which has been pushed through by the United States and Russia and is due January 22.

The sides confirmed their common understanding that a comprehensive political process should be launched as soon as possible to stop bloodshed and restore peace and stability in Syria in the interest of all Syrian nationals.

Fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels that broke out in 2011 has left over 100,000 dead and displaced millions, according to UN statistics.

In the Syrian civil war, Russia has backed the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the United States has supported Syrian opposition groups.

An international deal was brokered in September 2013 to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. The agreement prevented a likely US-led military intervention.

The process of disarmament in the Middle East country was initiated after hundreds of civilians died in a chemical agent attack that was made on a Damascus suburb last summer.

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