US, Russia agree to push ahead with Syria talks


MOSCOW: The United States and Russia agreed to move ahead with efforts to halt Syria’s brutal civil war, with a fresh round of international crisis talks set for this week in New York. After a three-hour meeting in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State John Kerry, the two sides appeared to be a step closer to each other’s positions on Syria, though differences remained on the fate of President Bashar al-Assad. In a stark reminder of the urgency of the quest—and even as the US envoy and the Kremlin leader were meeting Tuesday—a monitoring group said suspected Russian air strikes killed 34 Syrian civilians. “We support the idea of convening in New York another meeting of the International Syria Support Group at the ministerial level this Friday, December 18,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the talks, which also touched on counterterrorism and Ukraine.



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