Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 16 APR 2014
07:12 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
23 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Kerry, Lavrov confident on Syria peace talks plan
Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talk in Kiruna, Sweden, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov talk in Kiruna, Sweden, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
A+ A-

KIRUNA, Sweden: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday they believed they could pull off peace talks on Syria, where their nations back opposing sides in a war that may have cost 120,000 lives.

Differences between Russia, a main ally of President Bashar al-Assad, and the United States, which supports those trying to topple him, have long obstructed United Nations action on the turmoil convulsing Syria for more than two years.

But last week Kerry and Lavrov announced plans to hold a peace conference now expected to take place in Geneva in June.

"Both of us are...very, very hopeful that within a short period of time, pieces will come together so that the world, hopefully, will be given an alternative to the violence and destruction that is taking place in Syria at this moment," Kerry told a news conference after meeting Lavrov in Kiruna, Sweden.

"I would very much share the assessments just presented by John," Lavrov said.

He said Moscow and Washington were trying to mobilise support for the negotiations from Syria's government and opposition, as well as other countries concerned.

Kerry said the peace drive was based a deal that has stayed a dead letter since it was announced in Geneva in June 2012 for the creation of a transitional government in Syria "with full executive authority by mutual consent" - ambiguous wording which deliberately left Assad's future role unclear.

"WORKING TOGETHER"

"That's what we're working toward and I don't think it's insignificant that at this moment in time we are finding this common ground and working closely together," Kerry said.

Syrian revolutionaries have previously demanded Assad's removal before any talks on the country's future. The main Western-backed opposition coalition is due to meet in Istanbul to consider whether to attend the new Geneva talks.

A Western diplomat in Paris said the "Friends of Syria", an anti-Assad group of mainly Western and Arab countries, would meet in Jordan on May 22 to discuss the U.S.-Russian initiative.

Kerry and Lavrov, who met for an hour on Tuesday night on the sidelines of a meeting of the eight-nation Arctic Council, emphasised they were working in tandem on the Syria plan.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi said on Tuesday that Assad's government, fighting an insurgency that threatens to draw in Syria's neighbours, wanted specifics on the proposed conference before it decides whether to participate.

Kerry and Lavrov both said they expected Syria to attend.

Despite a push from some U.S. lawmakers for Washington to provide military aid to Syria's rebels - and to consider some military involvement such as a no-fly zone - President Barack Obama's administration wants a peaceful resolution to the war.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group, said on Tuesday that at least 94,000 people had been killed in the Syrian conflict, but that the real death toll was likely to be as high as 120,000.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Sweden / United States of America / Russia / Syria / Afghanistan
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 15, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
The presidential chess game has begun
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
China moves to the scary side of its boom
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS