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    Syrians children play during a sandstorm in the once rebel held Karm al-Jabal neighbourhood in the northern city of Aleppo on March 10, 2017

    Russia to Resolve Dispute Between Damascus Authorities, de Mistura - Lawmaker

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    Russia favors the current dispute between the Syrian government and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura resolution, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia is trying to resolve the current dispute between the Syrian government and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, whose visit to Damascus was canceled ahead of the next round of the intra-Syria talks in Geneva, Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament, said Monday.

    "We are trying to calm this conflict down. [The Syrian authorities] should continue interaction with the UN secretary-general's representative in any case," Kosachev told reporters.

    According to Kosachev, Damascus maintains that de Mistura must defend the interests of all the participants of intra-Syrian talks, however, he does not hide his preferences and maintains more active contact with certain sides.

    "In our opinion, these claims possibly have grounds, though, it is not enough for interruption of the interaction with the UN secretary-general's special envoy," Kosachev added.

    On Sunday, an informed source told Sputnik that the Syrian authorities had refused to host de Mistura in Damascus ahead of the next round of talks in Geneva, which are expected to take place on March 23. Damascus did explain the reasons behind the decision.

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    intra-Syrian talks, Konstantin Kosachev, Staffan de Mistura, Damascus, Syria, Russia
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