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article imageSyrian opposition leader to visit Russia

By Sami Zaatari     Dec 9, 2013 in World
The head of Syria's main political opposition, Ahmed Jarba, will visit Russia after being invited by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
No date has been set for the visit, with the Syrian opposition chief stating that his intended goal for the trip would be to convince Russia to end its support for the regime:
I have accepted the invitation (but) could not go (yet) because I was busy with other engagements. I will visit Russia to convince them that their interest lies with the Syrian people and not with the regime
Russia has been one of Assad's main backers during the more than 2 year civil war in Syria, providing the Syrian government with both military, and political support.
The Syrian National Coalition has also agreed to attend the Geneva talks in January, which will be the first official direct talks between the Syrian government and the opposition.
According to the SNC, the aims of the Geneva talks would lead to the setting up of a new transitional government, of which current President Bashar al-Assad would have no role in, as well as setting up humanitarian assistance in the country.
The Syrian government has however denied that it would agree to any transitional government, or giving up any power, and that Assad would not be stepping down.
Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Syrian Opposition Coalition Chairman Ahmed Assi al-J...
Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Syrian Opposition Coalition Chairman Ahmed Assi al-Jarba during the United Nations General Assembly at the Waldorf Astoria in New York September 24, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Joshua Lott
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