DAMASCUS, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Syrian foreign ministry stressed Wednesday that Damascus' gates are open for the dialogue with the opposition inside Syria and those in exile so long as it is based on the political program outlined by President Bashar al-Assad and held on Syrian soil.
The ministry said in a statement it welcomes Russia's invitation to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem to visit Moscow for talks with his counterpart Sergey Lavrov, who will also meet the head of the Syrian opposition coalition in exile, Moaz al- Khatib.
The ministry indicated that al-Moallem's visit has nothing to do with al-Khatib's, and stressed that "Damascus' gates are open for dialogue on a Syrian land and under the roof of the homeland."
The statement came apparently to brush aside media reports that Moscow may be orchestrating a meeting between al-Moallem and al- Khatib.
Syria has repeatedly stressed its readiness for dialogue, but stipulated the dialogue to take place on Syrian land without preconditions.
Al-Khatib, for his side, declared his readiness for negotiations with government representatives and said the dialogue should lead to the departure of Assad.