Lavrov to meet Syria opposition leader in Munich: report

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet Syrian opposition chief Moaz al-Khatib at the Munich security conference this weekend, news agencies quoted a member of the Russian delegation as saying Saturday.

The reports said the meeting would not include US Vice President Joe Biden or UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi despite initial suggestions that such four-way talks might be held.

They did not indicate when the talks with Khatib would take place.

Lavrov held separate meetings Saturday with Biden and Brahimi amid strong disagreement between Moscow and Washington about ways to end the Syria conflict.

Russia has blocked three UN Security Council resolutions sanctioning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the violence, and has been blamed by the armed opposition for being partially responsible for the bloodshed.

Talks between Moscow and rebel leaders have been rare and on one previous occasion last year ended with the opposition demanding a formal apology from Russia for its stance.