John Kerry calls Lavrov to brief on Syria

Last Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 08:30

Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to brief him on the American finding of use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria.

"Kerry made clear that the assessment of chemical weapon use underscores why the Syrian regime should allow the UN investigators into Syria and why Russia should support this effort and a full UN investigation," a State Department official said on Thursday.

During the call, held Friday afternoon, Kerry discussed the fact that the Assad regime has escalated the level of violence, with the help of Iran and Hizbollah in recent weeks.
He underscored that it is in the interests of both the United States and Russia to restore Syria to a stable situation, the official said.

Noting that the two top discussed planning for Geneva II, the official said Kerry emphasised his belief that a political negotiation is the only solution for the Syrian people to end the bloodshed, respond to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, counter violent extremist groups, address the issue of chemical weapons, and forestall regional instability.

He emphasised that Russia and the US need to play leadership roles, and they discussed the importance of Geneva I as the basis for a political transition.
Kerry and Lavrov also discussed the upcoming meeting between US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.


First Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 08:30

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