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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid