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Mar 22, 2012 3:21 PM by Jacqui Heinrich

Russia to discuss Syria with Kofi Annan

MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian official says U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan will visit Moscow this week to discuss his efforts to mediate a cease-fire in Syria.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov also said Thursday that his country will meet with a Syrian opposition delegation, including members of the National Coordination Committee, one of Syria's two main opposition groups, in Moscow in the next few days.

Russia, a top ally of Syria, has shielded its government from international sanctions over its yearlong crackdown of an uprising. But Russia also has strongly supported Annan's proposal regarding the crisis.

Annan's six-point plan includes a daily two-hour halt to the fighting to evacuate wounded people and provide humanitarian aid, and talks aimed at reaching a political solution.

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