Kerry announces fresh talks with Russia on Syria


VIENNA: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday announced he would hold talks on the war in Syria with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a regional summit next week in Laos. “I think our next meeting will be on the side of the meeting in Asia. I’ll see him in Asia (…) Laos,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna. Kerry will attend the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vientiane with top diplomats from Russia and China also flying in to the communist nation from Sunday. Russia and the United States back opposing sides in Syria’s five-year war, which has left 280,000 people dead and forced half the population to flee their homes. Multiple rounds of international negotiations to end the war, which erupted in 2011 after President Bashar al-Assad’s regime unleashed a brutal crackdown against a pro-democracy revolt, have so far failed.



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