News / Middle East

Kerry, Lavrov Committed to Organizing Syria Peace Talks

Kerry, Lavrov Committed to Organizing Syria Peace Talksi
X
May 28, 2013 10:33 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov say they are committed to organizing talks on a transitional government to end Syria's civil war. The two met in Paris Monday evening. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns has our story from the French capital.

Kerry, Lavrov Committed to Organizing Syria Peace Talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov say they are committed to organizing talks on a transitional government to end Syria's civil war. But there remain differences over who might take part in those talks. The two ministers met in Paris Monday evening.

Kerry says Washington and Moscow are determined to follow through on a Syrian peace plan proposal outlined last year in Geneva.

"Both of us, Russia and the United States, are deeply committed, remain committed to trying to implement the Geneva One principles which require a transitional government by mutual consent that has full executive authority in order to allow the people of Syria to decide the future of Syria," said Kerry.

Kerry and Lavrov met at a Paris hotel ahead of a working dinner with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Kerry says they talked about the dates for a second Geneva peace conference that would bring together representatives of the government and its opponents.

They also discussed the humanitarian situation and allegations by both sides that their opponents are using chemical weapons.

"And both of us expressed our mutual concerns about any potential use of chemical weapons and the need to really get the evidence and ascertain what has happened in that regard. Both Russia and the United States, if it were being used, would object to that very, very strongly," said Kerry.

Lavrov says Moscow and Washington understand the urgency of the Syrian crisis.

"The situation is not getting better and we all want to do everything in our efforts to stop the bloodshed and the sufferings of the Syrian people," said Lavrov.

Russia is backing embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while the United States supports the opposition. Lavrov says Moscow and Washington working together have considerable influence.

"When the United States and the Russian Federation make this kind of initiative, the chances for success are bigger. And we will do everything in our power to use those chances to make them realities," he said.

But there remain differences over who should take part in these talks, with Lavrov pushing for the inclusion of Iran, another key backer of the Assad military.

"The Geneva One participants, I think, have been accepted as invitees. And we believe that this circle could be expanded to include all key outside players who have influence on the situation on the ground," he said.

The United States has previously objected to Iran's involvement, but says the final list of participants is still being worked out with the United Nations.

Kerry and Lavrov agreed that their deputies will continue to meet in the coming days to work through how a Syrian peace conference could best be prepared for success.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid