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U.S., Russia, UN Ministers Set Meeting On Syria Crisis

Russia, the United States, and the United Nations will hold talks on the Syrian crisis in Geneva on December 11, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia will present its "vision" for intensifying joint efforts to fight terrorism in Syria.

Neither U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry nor Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who will meet in Moscow next week, plan to attend the Geneva meeting.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Assistant Secretary of State Anne Patterson, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, will represent Washington at the meeting, which he said will "try to get at the framework and the architecture for a cease-fire."

De Mistura told Reuters the talks are part of preparatory work "to better organize the future Vienna meetings."

Whether higher-level talks on Syria reconvene in New York later this month hinges on efforts currently under way in Saudi Arabia to unite Syrian opposition groups, ministers have said.

De Mistura said its too early to review the outcome of the opposition group meeting in Riyadh, which is still taking place.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and RIA Novosti