Russia says Syrian government officials will attend Geneva peace talks

Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva June 5, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syrian government representatives will attend upcoming peace talks in Geneva, Russia's state RIA news agency reported on Monday, citing Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

Bogdanov said Moscow hoped that Syrian armed opposition would be able to attend the peace talks.

Bogdanov also said the United Nations' Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, would visit Moscow ahead of the Geneva talks.

De Mistura is trying to mediate a political agreement between Syria's warring sides, and after a procedural round of talks in Geneva ended on March 3, he plans to bring the negotiators back for in-depth discussions on March 23.


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(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Writing by Alessandra Prentice)