A Free Syrian Army delegation has agreed to meet Russian foreign and defense ministry officials in Abu Dhabi late next week to discuss the Syrian crisis, the Sputnik news agency cited a coordinator of the talks as saying on Thursday.
In late October, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a loose alliance of rebel groups, denied its delegations had visited Moscow amid heightened diplomacy on Syria. The FSA does not operate with a centralized command structure.
According to the coordinator, Mahmoud al-Afandi, 28 FSA brigades in the suburbs of Damascus, Quneitra, Hama and the western suburb of Homs, as well as from the northern front and from the suburbs of Aleppo and Idlib, had agreed to meet Russian officials.
Meanwhile, FSA groups have dismissed reports of meeting with Russians, Reuters also said, in a report following the initial statements.
Russia has recently stepped up its efforts to broker a peace deal between Syrian government officials and members of the country's splintered opposition. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Tuesday the Kremlin would invite representatives of both sides to meet in Moscow next week.
He was quoted as saying that meeting would discuss the creation of a joint operating centre to fight ISIS and the Nusra Front, as well as the search for a political solution.