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Lavrov-Kerry meeting on Syria to last till Sept 13

September 11, 2013, 22:03 UTC+3
Reports say that the ministers will meet at one of the fancy Geneva hotels
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Photo ITAR - TASS / Alexandra Mudrats

Photo ITAR - TASS / Alexandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, September 11 (Itar-Tass) - A special meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria will last till September 13, the Foreign Ministry said after their talks on Wednesday, September 11.

“The ministers continued to discuss the situation around Syria, which will be in the focus of their attention at a special meeting in Geneva on September 12-13,” the ministry said.

A source in the Russian delegation said the Russian plan for putting Syria’s chemical weapons under international control has been handed over to the United States.

“We have handed over to the Americans our plan for establishing international control over Syria’s chemical weapons and we hope to discuss it in Geneva,” the source.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will travel to Geneva from Kazakhstan, where he is currently on a visit. The meeting between Lavrov and Kerry is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, September 12.

U.S. Department of State officials said that the talks would aim to try to agree a draft U.N. Security Council resolution, which Washington insists should guide the transfer of Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

An official at the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva told ITAR-TASS that the meeting between Lavrov and Kerry could take several days.

“The meeting should begin on Thursday and end on Friday but it may as well flow into Saturday,” the official said, adding that there is no indication that a third party may attend the talks. “It will be a bilateral meeting. There are no plans to draw in the United Nations.”

Reports say that the ministers will meet at one of the fancy Geneva hotels.

The programme of the talks is still being worked on, the source in the Russian delegation said when asked whether the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, could meet with Lavrov and Kerry in Geneva.

U.N. deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said Brahimi would be in Geneva and would be available for potential meetings with those officials.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva later this week would help work out a proper response to the threat posed by Syria’s chemical weapons.

“He hopes the US-Russian meetings later this week will be productive in moving toward a process for addressing the Syrian chemical weapons threat to which all parties will be committed,” U.N. deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Wednesday, September 11.

The Secretary-General strongly welcomed the emergence of serious international discussions that could lead to an agreement in the Security Council to secure and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons so as to prevent their use.

The Secretary-General also welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to take time to further explore this diplomatic opportunity to achieve this crucially important objective.

He also commended Russia for its efforts to advance a possible agreement.

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