Syria’s opposition National Coalition accepts an invitation to hold talks in Russia with Foreign Minister

Syria’s opposition National Coalition has accepted an invitation to hold talks in Russia with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country is a key ally of the Damascus regime, a coalition member said Wednesday.

Its deputy leader Hisham Marwa told AFP coalition chief Khaled Khoja received an invitation at the start of August to visit Moscow.

“We have decided to go but a date has not yet been fixed,” for what would be the group’s first mission to Russia since February 2014, when the coalition was led by Ahmad Jarba, he said.

That visit took place days before a round of peace talks in Geneva between President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the opposition that failed to produce results.

Marwa said the coalition was committed to a political solution based on a transitional government being formed ahead of legislative elections.

The regime and opposition have different interpretations of a Geneva Declaration adopted in June 2012 calling for a transition in Syria, with Assad’s foes ruling out any role for him.

Russia in January and April organised negotiations between envoys from Damascus and elements of the opposition, but the coalition, its largest component, boycotted the talks.