(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry tried to convince Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lovrov that the Syrian regime should allow UN investigators into Syria and that Russia should support this effort and a full UN investigation.
Sec. Kerry called his Russian counterpart on Friday to provide an update about the Obama Administration’s announcement this week that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime did use chemical weapons in the fight against its own people.
Kerry explained to Lovrov that it would be in the interests of both the United States and Russia to restore Syria to a stable situation, given the increased level of violence in the country with the help of Iran and Hizbollah in recent weeks.
Hoping that Geneva I can serve as a basis for political transition for establishing stability in the region, Kerry and Lovrov discussed planning for Geneva II and ways that a political negotiation might be the only solution for the Syrian people to end bloodshed, respond to humanitarian crisis, counter violent extremist groups and address the issue of chemical weapons.
Together, the U.S. and Russia arranged the Geneva summit seeking a diplomatic ending to the two-year conflict in Syria. While plans to hold the summit in early June were originally optimistic, Kerry and Lovrov have recently faced challenges with the deadline having already passed, and with new developments in the Syrian conflict, mainly the U.S. conclusion about Syrian chemical weapons use.
U.S. and Russian officials plan to meet again on June 25 to discuss logistics for the next Geneva summit.
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Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN
David Mark, CNN Newswire
Chieu Luu and Huizhong Wu, CNN