Russia, Qatar reach agreement how to encourage talks between Syrian govt, opposition

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Russia and Qatar have agreed on what they could do to encourage the Syrian opposition to sit down for talks with the Syrian government.

Lavrov said Friday he would not disclose further details about the agreement. Russia is a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who Qatar and other Middle East countries accuse of war crimes.

Lavrov hosted Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah in Moscow on Friday. The Russian envoy said he is seeing more willingness from Assad's opponents, like Qatar, to launch the talks between the Syrian government and the opposition.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, al-Attiyah accused Assad of supporting terrorist groups while Lavrov insisted that "it's up to the Syrian people" to decide Assad's future.