Syrian opposition chief, Russian minister meet, state news agency reports
February 3, 2013 -- Updated 0748 GMT (1548 HKT)
People protest with banners and signs during a rally against the 49th Munich Security Conference on February 2, 2013.
- The talks take place on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany
- Russia is a longtime ally of Syria; It does not recognize the opposition
- The opposition leader also meets with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
(CNN) -- The leader of the Syrian opposition met Saturday with the foreign minister of Russia, a longtime ally of the government that rebels hope to topple.
Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, head of the Syrian National Coalition, met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich, Germany, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported.
It gave no details and al-Khatib and Lavrov did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
The opposition chief also met in Munich with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who had harsh words for the Syrian leadership.
"President (Barack) Obama and I and nearly all of our partners and allies are convinced that President (Bashar al-) Assad, a tyrant hell-bent on clinging to power, is no longer fit to lead the Syrian people and he must go," Biden said, according to a transcript of his speech released by the White House.
Talk of retaliation after Israeli strike
Syria: Israel bombed research facility
Slain Syrians pulled from river
"The opposition continues to grow stronger. And as the Syrian people have their chance to forge their own future, they will continue to find a partner in the United States of America," he said.
Russia has criticized Western powers, including the United States, that have recognized the opposition as Syria's rightful leadership. Russia and China have blocked U.N. Security Council attempts to take action to end the conflict and force al-Assad to step down, stressing that outside powers shouldn't be picking Syria's leaders.
In December, Russia invited al-Khatib to peace talks in Moscow or another location. The opposition chief said the group was open to talks, but not in Russia.
He said then that Russia had overlooked atrocities in Syria, and must condemn the crimes before his group can engage in talks.
When the Arab Spring revolts erupted across the region in early 2011, Syrians took to the streets to demonstrate against al-Assad's rule. The Syrian leader quickly responded with a crackdown by police and the army that exploded into a civil war.
The United Nations says the conflict has now killed more than 60,000 people. The carnage continued Saturday, as at least 101 people were killed, the opposition said.
CNN's Atika Shubert contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
As a 10-year-old, this boy first hit the headlines in 1982 when he saved his cat from a fire. This year, he was reported to be a suicide bomber.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
Aqsa Mahmood,19, would listen to Coldplay and read Harry Potter books. Then this Glasgow girl became an ISIS bride.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
The little boy looks barely old enough to walk, let alone understand the dark world he's now inhabiting.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0422 GMT (1222 HKT)
ISIS has released video of the aftermath of a mass execution. Another video shows alleged captured Peshmerga soldiers.
August 30, 2014 -- Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)
The number of people who have fled Syria and registered as refugees amid the country's civil war will surpass 3 million Friday.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, grew up in the Minneapolis area, but died more than 6,000 miles away in Syria, fighting for ISIS.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 2054 GMT (0454 HKT)
If the United States is serious about thoroughly defeating ISIS, it must, somehow, go through Syria.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1141 GMT (1941 HKT)
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT)
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
June 25, 2014 -- Updated 2025 GMT (0425 HKT)
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
June 2, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1610 GMT (0010 HKT)
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1616 GMT (0016 HKT)
More than 100,000 people reportedly have been killed in Syria since a popular uprising in 2011 spiraled into a civil war.