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Russia Invites Syrian Opposition Leaders For Talks

Russia has invited Syrian opposition figures to Moscow for talks later this month aimed at setting up a meeting with officials from the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As many as 28 leaders of the Syrian opposition have reportedly received such an invitation.

Among those invited was the head of the Syrian National Coalition, Hadi al-Bahra, as well as two former heads of the coalition, Moaz al-Khatib and Abdel Basset Sida.

The opposition coalition, which views Russia with suspicion as a key supporter of Assad's regime, said it would discuss the offer at its general assembly in Turkey on January 2.

Assad's government has said it's ready to attend "preliminary" talks, but says they should pave the way for a conference in Syria itself.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria since the the civil war began in 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP, Press TV, and