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    Syrian opposition members attend a news conference, ahead of new round of crisis talks in Vienna on Saturday, in Moscow, November 12, 2015

    Russian Delegation Meets Syrian Opposition Members in Vienna

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    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Russian diplomats had contacts with the Syrian opposition in Vienna.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian diplomats met with a number of Syrian opposition members during the Syria crisis settlement talks in Vienna, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Sunday.

    "We did have contacts [with the Syrian opposition] in Vienna as well. These were several rebel groups in Vienna," Bogdanov told reporters.

    On Saturday, a fresh round of international talks on Syrian reconciliation, which involve Russia, the United States, Iran and the UN Special Envoy for Syria, among others, was held in the Austrian capital.

    A Jordan-led discussion on who should be put on the unified list of terrorist organizations will take place within coming weeks, according to Bogdanov.

    "We agreed that Jordanians will organize an extensive exchange within next two-three weeks to debate who is a terrorist and who is not," Bogdanov said.

    Jordan is due to contact anti-terror experts from countries involved in the effort, including Russians.

    Asked if the final blacklist would be put to vote in the UN Security Council, the diplomat replied that "That’s what we are offering."

    "Six or seven," the diplomat told reporters when asked how many terrorist organizations Russia suggests to include in the list.

    "There are many organizations that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, which shelled our embassy, the center of Latakia," Bogdanov said adding that Jaysh al-Islam was among the suggested groups.

    Russia, Turkey and the United States disagree on whether Kurdish militant groups should be put on the unified blacklist of terror organizations, to be compiled using a UN draft roster, according to Bogdanov.

    Turkey insists that Kurdish militant groups should be outlawed, while the United States and Russia regard them as a major player in the fight against Islamists in Syria.

    "They [Ankara] consider the Democratic Union Party to be a terrorist group. We think they are a lawful organization," Mikhail Bogdanov said.

    "There are differences not only between us and Turks, but also between Turks and Americans. They have disagreements even within NATO," he added.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that Russia is ready to set up an anti-terrorist coordination center with Egypt similar to Baghdad and Amman centers, but no agreement has been reached on the matter yet.

    "We have offered it to Egypt, we are ready," the Russian diplomat said.

    According to Bogdanov, Moscow believes that the fight against terrorism should involve everyone — "Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Shiites, the Sunnis."


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