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Russian, Syrian Foreign Ministers to Urge Syrian Dialogue Restart on Monday

© AP Photo / PoolRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov - Sputnik International
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart, Walid Muallem, are due to meet in Moscow on Monday where they will call for an urgent restart of a political dialogue between Damascus and the Syrian opposition, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Muallem is due to arrive in Moscow on Sunday for a three-day visit, during which he is also expected to bring up the topic of counter-terrorist operations in the region, the ministry said in a statement.

"The key topic of the ministers’ June 29 meeting will be the difficult situation in Syria and around it," the statement indicated.

"The focus will also be on the priority objective of restarting the political process of Syrian settlement," the ministry said, stressing that the urgency of this task has been recognized by the entire Middle East and the world.

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Syria has been in turmoil since the start of a civil war in 2011. The conflict has recently been exacerbated by the rapid rise of Islamist militant groups in the region, with the Islamic State group claiming large swaths of land in the country in summer 2014.

"The terrorist hotbed in Syria can only be destroyed by a coordinated action taken by the Syrian government and those of Syria’s constructively-thinking domestic and foreign opposition forces that support a sovereign, independent and renewed Syria," the ministry said.

Moscow has hosted two rounds of intra-Syrian peace talks since the start of the year, although their results were inconclusive.

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