It said Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov had also confirmed the importance of respecting the principle of consensus at the meeting when it happened and of ensuring that all of the group’s members took part in the talks. Ryad Hijab, a former prime minister who defected from the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and former political prisoner Ahmad al Jarba have been floated as possible presidents of the opposition bloc. The agreement, formalized in October, detailed a number of rules of engagement in the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria, including how to prevent the countries’ pilots from mistakenly flying into or shooting each other.
The official also rejected suggestions that the US might be willing to ease off on Ukraine if Russian Federation alters its positions on Syria. “There are no preconditions to having this meeting, or to having these discussions”, Kirby said. “It is a little less insulting, a little less hostile, and it reflects the degree to which the so-called “isolation” of Russia simply has not worked”, Jatras said, recalling how everybody wanted to talk to the Russian leader at the recent G20 meeting in Antalya, Turkey. The United States, its allies and most opposition groups insist that Assad must leave power for the fighting to end.
“Russia and the United States agree that Islamic State is a threat to everybody, to every country, that there is no negotiation [with ISIS]”, Kerry said.
It is expected that the meetings on Tuesday would narrow differences between Russian Federation and the US over the Syria crisis, and coordinate the worldwide anti-terror fight. “All this will be on the agenda of talks”, Ryabkov said.
“We don’t have a full meeting of the minds yet (on Assad), we will talk about some of the details of a transition…in the hopes of narrowing the differences between us”, a senior State Department official told reporters.
Kerry admitted that there still “kinks” that needed to be worked out, mainly to do with which groups should be included in peace talks. Kerry met with his counterparts from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar and Turkey, the French foreign ministry said.
In between, he marked two personal milestones. And he logged travel miles that pushed him past a total of 958,000, breaking Hillary Clinton’s record and putting him on track to surpass Condoleezza Rice next year and become the most traveled secretary of state in USA history.