Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed general support for the United States' initiative on settling the Syrian conflict during an annual press conference earlier on Thursday, referencing a draft resolution US State Secretary John Kerry presented to him during a visit to Moscow earlier this week.
"Let's hope this is the start of the end to the conflict," Jiri Mastalka said.
Mastalka mentioned the longstanding disagreement between Russia and the West over the fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel's insistence that a peace process without him, as potential drawbacks to progress.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed plans for a new foreign ministerial meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) on December 18 in New York. He said he expects the talks to focus on drafting a UNSC resolution affirming the agreements on Syrian political settlement reached during the two rounds of the Vienna talks.
At the first round of Syria talks on October 30, international mediators worked out a nine-point plan on ending the Syrian conflict, including a definition of national unity, the need to defeat extremist groups and to provide assistance to refugees.
At the second round on November 15, the 20 regional and world powers agreed to uphold the 2012 Geneva Communique on finding a political solution to the crisis. They set a six-month timeframe for Damascus to form an interim unity government, while stipulating that elections in Syria should be held within 18 months.
Government and opposition representatives are to hold talks by January 1, according to the latest Vienna agreement.