Russian State TV reports that the opposition Syrian National Council has agreed to Russian mediation.
George Sabra, a senior member of the council told the Interfax news agency: “The Syrian opposition needs all the help there is. Considering the good relations between the Russian and Syrian nations, Russia has a good chance of playing this part.”
News of this potential breakthough comes after a meeting between the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, where Moscow offered its assistance to bridge a diplomatic gap between the ruling regime and opposition groups.
“We think Russia should provide a roadmap for such a dialogue. Then all the opposition groups can take corresponding steps. But no one will engage in a dialogue just for the dialogue’s sake,” Sabra added.
Despite this, the council representative still believes the veto Moscow used against the UN resolution on Syria will also hamper its mediating role.
The Syrian National Council, based in Istanbul, positions itself as a government in exile. It runs another oppositional group, the Free Syrian Army, a paramilitary comprised of Syrian Armed Forces defectors. The Army might win recognition as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Oman are set to pass the act.