Aug 5, 8:21 AM EDT

Reports: Russian Foreign Ministry invites main Syrian opposition group for talks in Moscow


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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia has invited the main Syrian opposition group to visit, a move that comes amid a new Kremlin diplomatic push to mediate in the Syrian conflict.

The Interfax news agency quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying Wednesday that a delegation of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group has been invited to visit Moscow next week.

Coalition leader Badr Jamus told the Russian Sputnik news agency that it welcomed the invitation and will work out specifics of the visit shortly. The coalition has previously refused to visit Russia, a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Moscow's move follows Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's meeting in Qatar with the coalition's ex-leader, Moaz Al-Khatib. Lavrov also met in Doha with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.

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