Russia hosts senior Syrian envoy for talks on reviving Kofi Annan peace plan

Russia's Foreign Ministry says it is seeking to revive last summer's peace plan for Syria in talks with a top Syrian diplomat and the international envoy on the crisis.

The ministry's spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said that Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad met Thursday with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and is expected to hold talks with other top Russian diplomats.

Mekdad's trip follows U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Monday. Brahimi is to visit Moscow this weekend.

Lukashevich denies the existence of a new U.S.-Russian peace plan. He says Russia is pushing for fulfillment of a plan brokered by Brahimi's predecessor, Kofi Annan, which was approved at an international conference in Geneva in June.

Lukashevich reaffirmed Moscow's objection to calls for Assad's ouster.