Moscow hopes armed Syrian opposition takes part in Sochi meeting
ST. PETERSBURG. May 24 (Interfax) - The date for a high-level meeting on Syria in Sochi has not yet been set, but when it is held, Russia expects armed Syrian opposition members to take part, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov said.
"The dates have not yet been finally determined, but preparations are underway, and, most importantly, we are maintaining active working contacts with all parties involved in the process these days," Bogdanov told journalists in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
The parties are expected to agree on the dates soon, he said.
Asked whether Syrian opposition members would agree to come to Sochi, Bogdanov said, "We surely hope so, because it is of course difficult to discuss the stabilization of the situation and the consolidation of the cessation of hostilities without them."
"Quite a representative delegation came to Astana last time, and we hope the composition will be roughly the same in the future," he said.
It may vary, however, Bogdanov said.
"Most importantly, the process is moving forward, quite successfully and dynamically at that, but the participants in this process still have a lot of common goals to achieve," he said.