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Brahimi Meets with US, Russian Officials on Syrian Peace Effort

International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met with officials from Russia and the United States for talks on how to push forward the Syrian peace talks, as activists report dozens of deaths in rebel-held areas of Aleppo.

Brahimi says at his meeting Thursday both Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman reaffirmed their support for the talks and promised to help unblock the stalled negotiations.



"They have kindly reaffirmed their support for what we are trying to do and promised that they will help both here and in their capitals and elsewhere to unblock the situation for us because until now we are not making much progress in this process."



The talks began last week at the urging of the U.S., which backs the opposition, and Russia, which supports the Syrian government.

Over the past three days, Mr. Brahimi has met both the Syrian government and opposition for negotiations, but the process so far has achieved little success.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that government airstrikes killed at least 51 people Wednesday in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Russia is presenting two draft U.N. Security Council resolutions on Syria.



The first is Russia's version of a resolution to bring greater humanitarian aid. Lavrov told reporters in Moscow Thursday the second addresses fighting terrorism, which the Syrian government has stressed in the peace talks so far.



"Facts confirming an increasing number of threats from an increasing number of terrorist groups are well-known. We are very concerned by them. That's why we presented to the Security Council - or in this particular case we've just started consultations - one more draft resolution on fighting terrorism in Syria."



Russia objected to a Western-Arab draft resolution on humanitarian aid as one-sided against President Bashar al-Assad's government, and said it would use its veto power to block the measure.

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