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Kerry, Russian counterpart to meet Saturday on Syria

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US State Department confirmed Kerry would be at the meeting, but did not mention Russia or which other countries are participating
US State Department confirmed Kerry would be at the meeting, but did not mention Russia or which other countries are participating

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet in Switzerland on Saturday to discuss the crisis in Syria.
The meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, was first announced Wednesday by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which said Kerry and Lavrov are hosting the meeting with other key countries in the region.
A statement from the State Department confirmed Kerry would be at the meeting, but did not mention Russia or which other countries are participating, only saying the talks are multilateral. Kerry will also travel to London on Sunday to talk about Syria, the department added.
“The secretary will meet with foreign ministers from key regional partners in Lausanne and key regional and international partners in London to discuss a multilateral approach to resolving the crisis in Syria, including a sustained cessation of violence and the resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a written statement.
The meeting will be the first face-to-face between Kerry and his Russian counterpart since the United States cut off talks with Russia on Syria after failing to revive a ceasefire.
Though the United States cut off bilateral talks with Russia, U.S. officials have said they will continue to work through multilateral channels to help Syria and that Russia would necessarily be part of those multilateral talks because of its role in the Syrian crisis.
Since ending talks on Syria, relations between the United States and Russia have only gotten icier.
On Friday, Kerry called for a war crimes investigation of Russia and Syria for attacks in Aleppo. Later that day, the Obama administration publicly blamed Russia for hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic National Campaign Committee.
On Tuesday, the administration vowed there would a “proportional” response without warning to the hacking.

Source: Hill, 12 Oct. 2016

 

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