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Kerry and Lavrov set the agenda for Geneva talks on Syria

Kerry and Lavrov set the agenda for Geneva talks on Syria
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Washington and Moscow have begun crucial talks in Geneva on a plan to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated Washington’s position that force might be needed against Syria if diplomacy over the issue fails. His tone was questioning.

“In light of what has happened, the world wonders and watches closely whether or not the Assad regime will live up to its public commitments that it has made to give up their chemical weapons, and whether two of the world’s most powerful nations can together take a critical step forward in order to hold the regime to its stated promises,” he told reporters at a news conference before the talks began.

From Russia there was a more temperate tone and a conviction diplomacy will work.

“We believe resolving this problem will render air strikes on the Syrian Arab Republic unnecessary. Without doubt our American partners, as President Obama has said prefer a peaceful way to solve the problem of chemical weapons in Syria,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The talks on the plan which was initiated by Moscow earlier this week and accepted by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government are scheduled to last at least two days.

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