Middle East

Syrian opposition seeks Russian help in talks

Louay Safi (L), spokesperson for the Syrian National Coalition and opposition delegation member Anas al-Abda (R) listen to journalists' questions during a press conference held on the sidelines of the Syrian peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva on February 12, 2014. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZES

GENEVA: The Syrian opposition is urging Russia to take a more forceful stand with the Syrian government to help kickstart faltering peace talks in Geneva.

Anas al-Abdeh, a member of the opposition's negotiating team in Geneva said Wednesday they expect Russia - a key ally of Syria's President Bashar Assad - to put pressure on the government delegation to show flexibility at the talks.

The two sides have been unable to agree on a common agenda for the second round of talks that started Monday. The U.N. said that a meeting between senior U.S. and Russian officials - who are backing the process - with U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will be held Thursday, a day before it was originally planned.





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