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Russian FM, US secretary of state speak for continuation of intra-Syrian talks

February 01, 2014, 19:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 01, 16:40 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have discussed the situation in Syria and at the Geneva talks between the parties to the Syrian conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported Saturday.

Lavrov and Kerry met on Friday on the sidelines of the 50th Munich Security Conference currently underway in the Bavarian capital.

“The heads of the foreign policy departments of Russia and the United States expressed their common viewpoint that it is important to continue and intensify the intra-Syrian negotiating process to stop the bloodshed as soon as possible and launch a political settlement to the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Special attention was paid to destruction of Syrian chemical weapons in line with UN Security Council resolution 2118,” the statement said.

An international peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva-2, opened on January 22, 2014 in Montreux, Switzerland. Its first round ended on Friday in Geneva with no particular progress. The parties to the Syrian conflict took a pause for consultations and are expected to resume the talks on February 10.

Geneva-2, organized by Russia and the United States, seeks to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis, which has claimed over 100,000 lives and displaced millions since its start in 2011, according to UN statistics.

An international deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, mediated in September 2013, prevented a likely US-led military intervention in the Middle East country.

The process of disarmament in Syria was launched after hundreds of civilians died in a chemical attack made on a Damascus suburb in August 2013. The most dangerous of Syria’s chemical weapons are to be destroyed at sea by the end of March, and the rest by June 30, 2014.

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