MOSCOW, March 20 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will visit Moscow ahead of a new round of Geneva meeting for Syrian settlement, local media reported Monday.
"De Mistura will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday to discuss Syrian reconciliation," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying.
The U.N. envoy is coming at a time when his rift with Damascus grows ahead of the new round of Geneva talks scheduled for Thursday.
Damascus accused De Mistura of showing preferences for certain sides, instead of defending the interests of all participants in intra-Syrian talks, according to Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament.
"These claims possibly have grounds, but it is not enough to interrupt dialogue with the U.N. envoy," Kosachev told reporters on Monday.
Russia is seeking to resolve the disputes between Damascus and De Mistura, he said.
Several rounds of talks have been held in Geneva under the auspices of the U.N. for a political settlement of the chronic Syrian civil war, but progress has been difficult to make.
There has been a parallel process in Astana, Kazakhstan, since January 23, with Russia, Turkey and Iran as the mediators.