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Lavrov: Syria May Allow Humanitarian Aid to Damascus Suburbs

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the Syrian government may allow humanitarian aid into some besieged Damascus suburbs.

Lavrov on Monday said the Syrian government hopes it can reach agreement with the opposition to get help to civilians in East Ghuta and Yarmouk, as well as the Aleppo suburb of Baza'a.

Some parts of Syria have been without outside help for a year.

Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Paris Monday to plan the January 22 Syrian peace talks in Geneva.

Kerry said he and Lavrov discussed a couple of areas that he said could set the stage for success in Geneva. They include a possible cease-fire in Aleppo and a prisoner exchange.

But the two have not yet decided whether to invite Iran to the talks.

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Iran is a very important country in the region and should be there.

Russia also wants Iran at the talks. But the United States has said Iran must support a transitional government in Syria, which likely would exclude President Bashar al-Assad.



The stated goal of the Geneva 2 conference is to negotiate a transitional government for Syria.

Mr. Assad's government has said it will attend, while the main opposition Syrian National Coalition says it will decide by the end of the week whether it will participate in the talks. Kerry said Sunday he is confident the opposition will attend.

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People wait to receive food and supplies from an aid distribution point set up inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.

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