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Moscow wants 'regular contact' with Syrian opposition

Published on Feb 3, 2013 6:06 AM
Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov (centre) is pictured in front of journalists on his way to bilateral talks with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle on the second day of the 49th Munich Security Conference on Feb 2, 2013 in Munich, southern Germany as world leaders, ministers and top military gather for talks with the spotlight on Syria, Mali and Iran. -- PHOTO: AFP

MUNICH, Germany (AFP) - Moscow said on Saturday it wanted to keep in regular contact with the Syrian opposition after ground-breaking talks between the Russian foreign minister and the coalition's leader.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz al-Khatib met for the first time amid a renewed global push to iron out sharp differences over how to end the conflict in Syria.

"I reminded Khatib that after the creation of the coalition and the appointment of their leader, we immediately demonstrated our interest in maintaining regular contact," Russian news agencies quoted Mr Lavrov as saying after the meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. "We will make that happen," he added.

Mr Lavrov had earlier Saturday held talks with US Vice-President Joe Biden and UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi amid strong disagreement between Moscow and Washington about ways to end the 22-month Syria conflict, which has claimed upwards of 60,000 lives, according to the United Nations.

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