A Russian delegation headed by Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus on April 19 and held a meeting with the country’s President, Bashar al-Assad.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said that the Syrian President and the Russian delegation discussed issues on the agenda of the upcoming round of Astana talks, which will be held on April 25 and 26.
“President al-Assad and Lavrentiev stressed the importance of continuous coordination between the two sides regarding the raised issues to come out with positive results that achieve aspirations of the Syrian people, on top of which is the elimination of terrorism and the restoration of security and stability to all Syrian territory,” a report by the SANA reads.
Assad affirmed that the upcoming talks should be focused on overcoming obstacles hindering the implementation of the Russian-Turkish agreement on Idlib. Meanwhile, Lavrentiev expressed his confidence that Astana talks will achieve more successes, whether with regard to defeating terrorism or to the political process.
The Syrian al-Watan newspaper revealed a few hours after the meeting that Lavrentyev conveyed a “positive” Saudi initiative to Assad. The newspaper, which has close ties to the Damascus government, didn’t provide any additional information about the alleged initiative.
Lavrentyev held a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud in the Kingdom on April 18. The two sides discussed the situation in Syria. However, it remains unclear if the reports regarding the Saudi initiative are accurate.