Syrian opposition due in Moscow next week

Published Friday, July 6, 2012

Two key figures of the Syrian opposition against President Bashar al-Assad are due in Moscow next week as Russia seeks to promote dialogue as the way out of the Syrian crisis, a report said Friday.

Russia on Wednesday will host the new head of the exiled Syrian National Council (SNC), Abdel Basset Sayda, a foreign ministry source told the Interfax news agency.

Prominent opposition intellectual Michel Kilo will meanwhile be in Moscow on Monday, it added. Both men are expected to have talks at the foreign ministry.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had on Thursday confirmed that both Sayda and Kilo were expected in Moscow but did not give details on the dates of their arrival.

Sayda, whose dissident coalition has at times been vehemently critical of Russia's policy on Syria, is a Kurdish activist who was named to head the SNC in June.

Russia joined other world powers last weekend agreeing a plan for a political transition in Syria which did not make an explicit call for Assad to quit power.

Moscow has insisted it is up to the Syrian people to decide the fate of Assad, much to the irritation of the West and Syrian opposition groups which want Assad ousted.

Russia says the only way out of the conflict that has claimed thousands of lives is an inter-Syrian dialogue and has vehemently opposed any suggestion of armed intervention from outside.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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