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Syrian opposition seeks Russian help in talks

  • Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Gennady Gatilov, center, leaves    after a meeting with the UN Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the second round of negotiation between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday , Feb.  12, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gennady Gatilov, center, leaves after a meeting with the UN Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the second round of negotiation between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday , Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, 2nd right,  makes a phone call  after a meeting with the UN Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the second round of negotiation between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday , Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)

    Russian deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, 2nd right, makes a phone call after a meeting with the UN Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, the second round of negotiation between the Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday , Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Salvatore Di Nolfi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad gestures as he talks to journalists after a meeting with the Syrian opposition  at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov arrived in Geneva and met with U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi who was pessimistic over any progress at the talks. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

    Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad gestures as he talks to journalists after a meeting with the Syrian opposition at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Switzerland, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennady Gatilov arrived in Geneva and met with U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi who was pessimistic over any progress at the talks. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)  (The Associated Press)

The Syrian opposition is urging Russia to take a more forceful stand with the Syrian government to help kickstart faltering peace talks in Geneva.

Anas al-Abdeh, a member of the opposition's negotiating team in Geneva said Wednesday they expect Russia — a key ally of Syria's President Bashar Assad — to put pressure on the government delegation to show flexibility at the talks.

The two sides have been unable to agree on a common agenda for the second round of talks that started Monday. The U.N. said that a meeting between senior U.S. and Russian officials — who are backing the process — with U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will be held Thursday, a day before it was originally planned.