De Mistura, Lavrov meet ahead of today’s Geneva talks

De Mistura, Lavrov meet ahead of today’s Geneva talks
UN Special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Wednesday in Moscow ahead of Syria peace talks in Geneva on Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

De Mistura pointed out the need for political progress in the country and said he arrived in Moscow to assess the situation, according to a statement by the ministry.

The UN envoy will later head to the Turkish capital, Ankara, before departing for Geneva. 

Lavrov said Russia he "valued" the meeting with de Mistura after the third round of intra-Syria talks, which was held in the Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana on March 15 and preceding today’s Geneva talks. 

"We believe that we should help you consolidate the agreements on four baskets of issues: the transitional government, the constitution, the elections and the fight against terrorism," Lavrov said.

Representatives of the opposition, led by Nasr Hariri from the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), and Assad regime’s delegation, headed by Bashar al-Ja’afari, are expected to attend the talks in the Swiss city.

The talks will be held today as opposition fighters have been on the offensive in eastern Damascus and in Hama northern countryside, where they achieved considerable advances.

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