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Russian and Syrian diplomats discuss preparations for Syrian National Dialogue Congress

The forum will focus on drawing up Syria’s new constitution and elections

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met on Thursday with Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad to discuss preparations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be hosted by the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"In a trust-based conversation, they discussed the development of the situation in Syria and around it with an emphasis on a set of issues for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis," the ministry said. "Special attention was paid to the results of the eighth international meeting on Syria, held in Astana on December 21-22 and to preparations for holding the Syrian National Dialogue Congress, slated for January 29-30 in Sochi," it said.

The meeting was initiated by the Syrian diplomat. Earlier on Thursday, Bogdanov, who is also Russian president’s envoy for the Middle East and Africa, met with Iran’s Ambassador in Moscow Mehdi Sanai.

Countries-guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - Russia, Iran and Turkey - agreed at the international meeting in the Kazakh capital of Astana to hold the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi on January 29-30.

The forum will focus on drawing up Syria’s new constitution and holding elections on its basis under the UN auspices. Russia, Iran and Turkey will hold a meeting in Sochi on January 19-20 in preparation for the Congress.