MOSCOW: Russia said on Thursday it wanted to hold an international meeting on Syria including key players from the West and the Middle East in Munich next month.
“There is an agreement in principle between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry, and now we will propose to all the other participants of the international Syria support group a time and place Munich, February 11,” state news agency TASS quoted deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying.
The call for a fresh meeting of the key international players in Syria came as opposition groups from the war-torn country met for a third day in Riyadh to decide whether to attend UN peace talks with the government, with less than 24 hours before the negotiations were due to open in Geneva.
Some 17 nations including the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran held several rounds of talks last year in the broadest international push to end the conflict in Syria.
Russia is currently conducting a bombing campaign in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, while the US is leading a separate coalition targeting Islamic State jihadists.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told journalists in Moscow on Thursday, a day after meeting Bogdanov, that the talks would likely happen February 11.
High-ranking officials will be heading to Munich next month for an annual security conference that starts on February 12.