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May 10, 2013

Cameron Heads to Russia for Syria Talks

by VOA News

British Prime Minister David Cameron visits Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday for talks aimed at ending Syria's two-year-long civil war.

Cameron's meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi comes amid a renewed international push for a resolution to the conflict that has killed at least 70,000 people.

Washington and Moscow this week agreed to call an international conference later this month to press for peace talks between the Syrian government and rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime Russian ally.

There has been speculation that London may be interested in hosting the conference.

​​U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday renewed his call for Assad to step down, saying he cannot be a part of a transitional government to lead Syria out of its crisis.

The statement appears to clarify the U.S. position.

On Tuesday, Kerry had said it is "impossible" for him as an "individual" to see President Assad governing Syria in the future, but he added that the Syrian president's fate is not for him to decide.

Meanwhile, clashes continued to break out across Syria. The Local Coordination Committees, an opposition activist group, said at least 22 people were killed in fighting early Friday in the capital of Damascus and the central city of Homs, as well as Aleppo, Hama, and Daraa.

Photo Gallery: Latest Images from Syria