John Kerry, Sergei Lavrov discuss Syria, North Korea
Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry today spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, discussing the importance of finding a political solution to the current situation in Syria and agreeing on a swift response to the provocative North Korean nuclear tests.
Kerry and Lavrov spoke for nearly half an hour this morning on the situation in Syria and ongoing work at the UN Security Council to respond to the North Korean nuclear test.
"They also agreed to compare calendars to try to set a first bilateral meeting in the coming weeks," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement.
"On Syria, they discussed the importance of the US and Russia using their respective influence on the parties in support of a viable political transition process," she said.
"The Secretary (of State) underscored the urgency of ending the bloodshed, preventing further deterioration of the institutions of the state, and protecting the rights of all Syrians and helping them to resist extremism and further sectarian strife," she added.
Kerry and Lavrov also agreed on the need for close cooperation on a swift response to North Korea's latest provocative step, Nuland said.