Senior Russian official in Damascus for talks with Syrian leaders

A senior Russian official is in Damascus for talks expected to focus on Moscow's efforts to bring all sides in Syria's seemingly intractable civil war to the negotiating table.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov arrived in the Syrian capital Wednesday for a two-day visit. He told reporters that he would meet with the Syrian leadership, but did not elaborate.

Syria's pro-government Al-Watan newspaper said Bogdanov would meet with President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem during the trip.

Damascus is the last leg of regional tour that has taken Bogdanov to Turkey for meetings with Syrian opposition leaders as well as Lebanon for talks with senior government officials and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Bogdanov says Russia is trying to arrange a meeting between Syria's warring sides without preconditions.