Syrian Opposition Positive About Informal Peace Talks, Ministry Says

Representatives of Syria's opposition spoke positively of Russia's proposal to host informal peace talks involving all the political forces in the ongoing conflict in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Syrian opposition envoys in Geneva earlier on Thursday during which the parties discussed the possibility of an international peace conference proposed by Russia and the United States in May, designed to bring all parties to the Syrian conflict around the table.

The Syrian envoys demonstrated a "positive attitude" to the proposal and "expressed their interest in taking part," the Russian ministry said in a statement.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said the proposed meeting could "lay a basis for informal contacts between the parties at war" and help understand whether a dialogue between them is possible.

The Associated Press quoted Syrian opposition figure Kamal Labwani as saying the Russian offer was still being considered.

Another Syrian opposition official who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the talks said the coalition had already decided to send experts to Moscow to discuss the topic of establishing a humanitarian corridor in the region.