Moscow, Washington to discuss Syria crisis at Hague on August 28
Senior Russian and US diplomats are set to meet at The Hague on August 28 to discuss ways to end the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The US Department of State announced the exact date of the previously reported meeting on Thursday.
According to the report, State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford will represent Washington during the talks, while the Russian delegation will include Deputy Foreign Ministers Gennady Gatilov and Mikhail Bogdanov.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the ambassador to Syria will also hold talks with leaders of Syria’s foreign-backed opposition coalition in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Sunday.
The August 28 talks are scheduled to focus on preparations for the long-delayed Geneva 2 conference on the Syrian issue, which was proposed by Washington and Moscow on May 7.
On August 19, Gatilov said, “The aim of this meeting is to bilaterally compare our positions on organizing the conference. We'll discuss an entire range of issues relating to it.”
However, a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria would also be discussed in the meeting.
On August 21, the head of the so-called Syrian National Coalition, George Sabra, claimed that 1,300 people were killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar.
However, the Syrian government vehemently dismissed the baseless claims, saying the new accusations were fabricated to distract the visiting team of the UN chemical weapons experts and to cover up militants losses.
Russia also described recent claims by the Takfiri militants as “premeditated provocation,” saying previous such reports have proven false.
According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in Syria since March 2011.