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Russia stays mute on possible US invitation to Syria talks

Turkey and Russia agreed that the US "should be definitely invited" to talks on Syria's political future set to take place on January 23
Natalia Kolesnikova (AFP/File)
Russia interested in 'broadest possible representation' of parties who want political settlement in Syria

The Kremlin on Friday declined to confirm whether it would invite the United States to Syria peace talks later this month after Washington was excluded from brokering a recent truce in the war-torn country.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday that Turkey and Russia had agreed that Washington "should be definitely invited" to talks under their auspices on the war-torn country's political future set to take place in Kazakhstan's capital Astana on January 23.

Asked to comment on the Turkish statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "I cannot say anything about this for now."

Peskov nonetheless added that Russia is "interested in the broadest possible representation of the parties who have a bearing on the prospects of a political settlement in Syria."

Last month Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed the hope that the new American presidential administration under Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated January 20, could "also join the efforts so that we can work in the same direction harmoniously and collectively."

Lavrov at the time did not say whether Washington would be invited to the negotiating table.

Russia and Turkey last month brokered a ceasefire in the war-torn country but without the involvement of the United States, a negotiator in previous truces.

The truce went into effect on December 30 and has brought calm to much of Syria although fighting continues in some regions.

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