Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais in Damascus, in this handout picture provided by SANA on February 20, 2016. Picture taken February 20, 2016. Reuters/SANA/Handout via Reuters
Damascus has yet to publicly confirm it will be taking part in the talks.
Asked whether Russia, a close ally of Assad, was encouraging Damascus to attend, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “They’re not refusing.”