Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday met in Moscow for the first time a delegation from the Peace and Freedom Front to discuss the Syrian conflict.
The meeting is a sign that Moscow is taking an additional step towards expanding its role East of the Euphrates amid similar efforts made by the US in the region.
Established in June, the Peace and Freedom Front brings together four Syrian opposition entities. They are The Kurdish National Council in Syria, the Assyrian Democratic Organization, the Syrian Future Movement, and the Arab Council in Al-Jazeera and the Euphrates.
The delegation, headed by Ahmed Jarba held two meetings in the Russian capital, one with Lavrov and another with Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
“Russia bets on the important role that the Front can play to push the political process forward in Syria,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.
Member of the delegation Wassef al-Rab told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Front stressed the importance of the unity and integrity of Syrian territories in line with UN Resolution 2254.
“The meeting was honest and constructive,” he said, adding that the two sides discussed the dire situation in Syria and the latest developments on finding a political solution to the country’s war.
The delegation gave a detailed explanation of the Front’s expectations.
Al-Rab also said the delegation called on the Russian government to use its influence to play an active role in the release of detainees and to reveal the fate of kidnapped and missing people.
The delegation asked for the voluntary return of refugees and to reject demographic changes in all Syrian regions.
It stressed the importance of ending the standoff and the need for a swift political solution.
Al-Rab revealed that the delegation would continue to discuss the latest developments in Syria with other parties, including the US and a number of EU states in addition to regional powers, like Turkey.