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Speaking from Cairo, where he has been meeting officials, Al-Khatib said that he was willing to meet Damascus officials somewhere in rebel-held Syria to discuss Assad’s transition from power.
He set a pre-condition that Damascus release thousands of political prisoners.
Al-Khatib’s offer came as a car bomb parked on the Turkish side of the border with Syria killed at least eight people and injured dozens.
Al-Khatib has recently been meeting with Syria’s allies in a bid to gain support for his initiative.
Last week he met with Song Aiguo, the Chinese ambassador to Egypt and a few days earlier met with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister on the sidelines of the 49th Munich Security Conference.
Al-Khatib said he had received a “clear invitation” from the foreign minister to visit Moscow, in what could be the beginning of an international diplomatic effort to end the civil war.
“Russia has a certain vision but we welcome negotiations to alleviate the crisis and there are lots of details that need to be discussed,” al-Khatib said after the talks.
Al-Assad has not yet responded to any of Al-Khatib’s overtures. The UN says al-Khatib’s offer for talks gives a “glimmer of hope” that the civil war could be resolved peacefully.