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Russia says it will fully support UN-mediated peace talks in Syria

The UN's envoy has met with the Russian foreign minister to discuss the ongoing conflict with Syria. Despite tension, Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would fully support efforts to bring an end to the bloodshed.

Lavrov confirmed that Russia pledges its support for the UN-backed peace agreement in Syria, even as the country continues to disagree with members of the international community over the fate of the country's embattled president, Bashar al Assad.

"As in any conflict, it is of course key that we ensure the inclusive character of the negotiations and that they are focused on promoting a direct dialogure between the two sides," Lavrov was quoted as saying by one Russian news agency.

His words came as Staffan di Mastura, the UN's mediator when it comes to the Syrian conflict, paid a visit to Moscow on Tuesday. Di Mastura said peace talks would likely kick off again in Geneva next week. The last round of talks ended in late March without any clear resolution.

Russia has been at odds with much of the international community over Syria. President Vladimir Putin chose to intervene militarily in the country back in September of last year. An ally of Assad, Moscow has claimed Russian air strikes are targeting terrorist targets like the so-called "Islamic State", but the US and the EU insist they're also hitting Western-backed rebels seeking to topple the president.

Watch video 02:36

Five years of war in Syria

blc/bw (AFP, Reuters)

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