- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

MOSCOW (AP) - The U.N. envoy for Syria has met Russian officials to discuss how to revive the peace process, following another fruitless round of negotiations in Geneva this month.

Staffan de Mistura says he conveyed his disappointment with the latest Geneva talks and asked for Moscow’s assistance.

He said he told Russian Foreign Mnister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that he counts on everyone’s support to “make sure that the next meeting can be better.”

De Mistura’s carefully worded statement didn’t reveal whether he asked Moscow to pressure Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government to negotiate directly with the opposition.

The opposition has long demanded Assad have no role in post-war Syria, something the government refuses to even consider.

Lavrov voiced hope that planned Syria talks in Sochi could encourage dialogue.

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