Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Photo: Reuters)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to meet on Wednesday in Riyadh with Arab foreign ministers of the Gulf for talks expected to highlight their differences on the Syrian conflict.
The Gulf Cooperation Council aims to "put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people through rapid political transition and a halt to the bloodshed," GCC chief Abdel Latif al-Zayani said in a statement.
The meeting follows the Gulf states' recognition of the newly formed National Coalition following talks last week in Doha as the "legitimate representative" of the Syrian people.
In contrast, Russia on Monday urged the new grouping to spurn foreign interference and drop its rejection of a negotiated solution to the conflict with President Bashar al-Assad's regime, a longtime ally of Moscow.
The GCC -- grouping Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- has supported the anti-regime revolt in Syria that broke out in March 2011 and has cost tens of thousands of lives.