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France to host Syria talks meeting without regime’s allies

October 28, 2015 at 11:44 am

France will host a dinner meeting on Syria on Tuesday in Paris with regional and international allies including the United States, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia without the participation of the Syrian regime’s allies; Russia and Iran, the French foreign ministry announced.

Foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is working to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria, adding that Fabius has met several times in the past few days with his American, Jordanian and Saudi Arabia counterparts as well as the United Nations Secretary-General envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura.

Fabius announced on Friday that he wants to hold a working dinner meeting with Western and Arab allies to discuss the Syrian crisis, noting that the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will not attend the Paris meeting.

Sources close to the French foreign ministry revealed that the Turkish and Saudi ministers will attend the Paris meeting.

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said America is discussing with Russia and other countries the possibility of organising another round of talks on the Syrian crisis after the Paris meeting.

Kirby said Iran will join the talks at some stage, noting that the talks will enable an exchange of views between the countries concerned in order to find a solution to the crisis.

He stressed that Syria’s “moderate rebels” should participate in the talks.

However, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow is working to hold a meeting on Syria next Friday in Vienna, Austria.

“I cannot announce any concrete details right now except that we are working hard with other countries to organise a meeting in Vienna on Syria,” she added.

On Friday, the Austrian capital hosted a quadrilateral meeting, the first of its kind on Syria to include the foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, to find a solution to the ongoing armed conflict in Syria which has killed more than a quarter of a million people since 2011.