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Kerry Heads to Russia for Talks

VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Russia for talks on the war in Syria and other issues.
 
Secretary Kerry arrives Tuesday in Moscow where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Later, Kerry will hold a full bilateral meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, where they are expected to discus a wide range of issues including Syria, the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, Afghanistan and trade.

Kerry and Lavrov have met several times over the past few months, but this will be Kerry's first trip to Moscow since taking the post of Secretary of State in February. The two-day visit comes ahead of next month's meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Mr. Putin  on the sidelines of the G-8 summit.

The United States and Russia have been at odds over how best to deal with the rebellion in Syria.  Russia and China have repeatedly used their U.N. Security Council veto to block tougher United Nations action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
Russia has supplied weapons to the Assad army.  The United States and other countries support his opponents, although Washington says it is not providing weapons.  

A senior State Department official said Monday that while both the U.S. and Russia have expressed their support for a framework for a transition in Syria, it is uncertain whether an agreement will be reached during the Moscow meeting. The official said that "it is worth testing and trying to find some ways forward."

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