Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem will discuss the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons at negotiations in Moscow on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"Problems with the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2118 and Russia's practical assistance in implementing the plan of Syria's chemical demilitarization will be discussed at negotiations with Muallem in Moscow, with an emphasis placed on overcoming the difficulties existing in this process," the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
The agenda of the negotiations traditionally contains relevant aspects of Russian-Syrian bilateral relations and the provision of Russian humanitarian aid to the suffering Syrian population, it said.
Lavrov and Mualem will hold "substantive negotiations," it said.
"Special significance will be attached to preparations for the Geneva II international conference on Syria, which should be convened in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"The conference is intended to ensure the launch of an inter-Syrian dialogue involving representative delegations of the SAR government and the opposition based on the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012 without preconditions," it said.
"The decisions to be made within the framework of the upcoming Geneva process should be a product of mutual consent of the Syrian parties and cannot be imposed on the negotiating parties by anyone," it said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry intends "to work intensely together with U.S. partners and the UN so that the SAR government and the opposition take a number of practical humanitarian steps in the interests of forming a favorable atmosphere in the run-up to the conference," it said.
"The matter concerns the achievement of local truces, exchanges of captives and prisoners, and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to the districts blockaded by both government forces and the armed opposition," it said.