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Russia Could Host 'Informal' Syria Talks

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov says Russia could host "informal" Syrian talks.
A senior Russian official says Russia is ready to host informal talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and the opposition as part of preparations for a possible peace conference.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said the talks "do not necessarily have to end in some sort of agreement."

He was speaking after talks with representatives of Syrian opposition groups on November 5 in Geneva.

Bogdanov said Russia's offer was aimed at creating an "atmosphere" conducive to future talks. He said some opposition groups have already agreed to come to Moscow, but provided no details.

The Syrian opposition remains deeply divided over its participation in a planned peace conference in Geneva. The conference was proposed by Russia and the United States in April, but no date has been set.

Based on reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and AFP