On Thursday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Russian leaders during his trip to Moscow. Syria, particular a political transition in Syria will feature prominently in their discussion. Relevant meetings on his agenda include:
- A meeting followed by a lunch with Foreign Minister Lavrov and the MFA team.
- A meeting with President Putin is in the early evening.
- A joint press conference with Foreign Minister Lavrov summing up the day.
Senior State Department Official:
“On Syria, as you know, with the cessation of hostilities going better than a lot of people expected – albeit with significant violations every day – it’ll be a chance to evaluate where we are there. As you know, we’ve also had a week of UN-led talks. And the Secretary, I think, would like to now really hear where President Putin is in his thinking, and Foreign Minister Lavrov on a political transition. They’ve had quite a bit of contact with Assad in recent weeks, and obviously, if this cessationp of hostilities is going to transform into a true transition for Syria, it’s going to have to involve getting down to brass tacks on what that political transition looks like. So that’ll be the main focus for the Secretary as well as trying to get on the same page in terms of ending the violations that are happening, getting more humanitarian in, et cetera.”