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Russia aiming for Syrian government, opposition talks in Moscow

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hand with Syria President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Russia’s involvement in Syria has led to resumed talks about Syria’s future in Vienna. So far there’s no progress but at least there are talks, notable for including Iran, at Russia’s insistence, for the first time. They are notable as well for easing the Kremlin’s isolation after its takeover of Crimea and backing for pro-Moscow forces fighting the central government in Ukraine.  (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti,  Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hand with Syria President Bashar Assad in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Russia’s involvement in Syria has led to resumed talks about Syria’s future in Vienna. So far there’s no progress but at least there are talks, notable for including Iran, at Russia’s insistence, for the first time. They are notable as well for easing the Kremlin’s isolation after its takeover of Crimea and backing for pro-Moscow forces fighting the central government in Ukraine. (Alexei Druzhinin, RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

A senior Russian diplomat says Moscow is aiming to host a round of talks between Syrian officials and opposition leaders next week.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by Russian news agencies on Tuesday as saying the Syrian government has agreed to participate, but that it is unclear which opposition groups might come. He did not give a specific date for the proposed talks.

The talks proposal is expected to be discussed Wednesday at a meeting between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.N. Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura, Bogdanov said