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    Russia Welcomes Other Countries to Join Moscow-Damascus Talks – Lawmaker

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    Russian parliamentary speaker Valentina Matvienko confirmed the possibility of her visiting Syria, adding that the timing of her visit to the Arab Republic will be determined through diplomatic channels.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow is ready to welcome other countries into the existing dialogue between Russia and Syria on the crisis in the Middle Eastern country, Russian parliamentary speaker Valentina Matvienko said on Wednesday.

    Her statement came in the wake of Syrian President Bashar Assad's visit on Tuesday to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The leaders discussed Russia's Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Army's operation against Islamic State (ISIL) and efforts to end the four-year Syrian civil war.

    "The very fact that the presidents of Russia and Syria have met indicates that our countries have a very broad agenda…. We will be glad if this dialogue will be joined by other participants, because there is no military solution to the conflict [in Syria]," Matvienko told reporters.

    On Wednesday, Matvienko also confirmed the possibility of her visiting Syria, adding that the timing of her visit to the Arab Republic will be determined through diplomatic channels.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011. The core of the ongoing conflict is a struggle between moderate Syrian opposition groups, that want to remove President Bashar Assad from power, and government forces.

    Apart from countering opposition factions, Damascus has also had to fight various extremist groups, including Islamic State (ISIL), and the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate in the country.

    Russia is among the many countries engaged in international efforts to find a political solution to the ongoing Syrian conflict, while also assisting Damascus in fighting extremists through military aid and pinpoint airstrikes on ISIL positions, which Moscow started on September 30.

    Since the beginning of the air campaign, Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out some 750 strikes, killing hundreds of militants and destroying dozens of command centers and depots used by ISIL terrorists.


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