The Minister of State for National Reconciliation in Syria, Ali Haider, said that the Syrian leadership is determined to hold presidential elections in 2014.
Haider added that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov assured him in their meeting in Moscow that Geneva 2 is to be held toward the end of next November. Haider stressed that Syria welcomes UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to visit at any time.
Bogdanov discussed the Syrian crisis and prospective solutions with representatives of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement today that "Bogdanov spoke with the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Dr. Qadri Jamil and Minister of State for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar about the progress of the preparations for the upcoming international conference about Syria in Geneva.
According to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the two sides stressed during the meeting that there is no alternative to a political diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria.
For his part, Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said on Thursday that an international “peace” conference is planned for November 23-24 in Geneva.
Jamil,, who made the announcement during a visit to Moscow, did not say what breakthrough had been achieved to set a date for the gathering.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer