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Lavrov blames Washington as Syria talks run late

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the end of Syrian crisis talks had been delayed as US officials consulted Washington, and handed out pizza and vodka to waiting reporters.



Geneva: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the end of Syrian crisis talks had been delayed as US officials consulted Washington, and handed out pizza and vodka to waiting reporters.

Separately, a senior US official confirmed that Secretary of State John Kerry was in talks with his government on the results of efforts to strike a deal with Russia on a ceasefire in Syria.

Yesterday Moscow's envoy appeared briefly in a Geneva hotel ballroom room set aside for a news conference to mark the end of talks with Kerry but did not mount the podium that had been prepared.

Instead, in a brief chat with reporters, he said in English: "I believe it is important for them to check with Washington. That's why I apologise for the delay. We cannot help it.

"It's going to be announced very soon I think. I hope before Washington goes to sleep, we can get some news. My appeal to you is to be patient. Same as me," he added.

Later, Lavrov and his aides returned and distributed pizzas and a bag of bottles of vodka to the waiting reporters, apparently to relieve them after their long wait.

"The pizza is from the US delegation, we brought the vodka," Lavrov declared, as his aides distributed the bounty.

The United Nations envoy to the Syrian conflict also briefly entered the room to appeal for patience, but there was no sign of Kerry, who had earlier met with both Lavrov and UN envoy Staffan De Mistura.

Both Kerry and Lavrov had been expected to fly home later Friday, but all three officials said they still hoped to hold a news conference to announce the results of the negotiation.

From Zee News

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