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Russian minister admits complexity of organizing conference on Syria

Also, both sides expressed concern over a possible use of chemical weapons in Syria

PARIS, May 28 (Itar-Tass) - Putting a new international conference on Syria on track is a knotty task but the chances are bigger in reality than one might think, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here Monday after talks with the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.“I hope anyway Russia and the U.S. will implement the initiative and the chances for a success are big enough and we’ll use this opportunity successfully,” Lavrov said. “We’ll do everything to stop the bloodletting and to put an end to the Syrians’ sufferings.”

“We discussed a Russian-American agreement on convening a conference on Syria and we focused on the importance of determining the scope of participants, in the first place, the ones representing the Syrian opposition and government,” he said.

Lavrov underlined the importance of bringing key players into the talks so that they might exert influence on the situation together. “It’s important to ensure that all the participants in the previous Geneva conference get invitations /to the Geneva-2 talks/,” he said.

Secretary of State Kerry said on his part Russia and the U.S. speak in favor of arranging a situation where the Syrians themselves could map out their homeland’s future.
Russia and the U.S. are seeking to fulfill the Geneva communiqu·, as well as to create the conditions for the setting up of a transitional government and for giving the Syrians an opportunity to determine their future on their own, Kerry said.

He indicated that Lavrov and he had discussed a possible list of participants. The same issue will be discussed later with the French Foreign Minister, Kerry said.
Also, both sides expressed concern over a possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Kerry also said that officials of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the U.S. Department of State plan to hold a meeting for discussing the organization of the international conference on Syria as soon as an opportunity for this meeting avails itself.