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Kerry Says Syria Peace Talks Can Go Forward

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria should go ahead on March 14 as planned, but Russia and U.S. monitors are meeting first to discuss perceived cease-fire violations.

Speaking in Saudi Arabia on March 12, Kerry, speaking said he hoped to speak by phone later in the day with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about accusations that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is violating truce promises.

Kerry said Russian and U.S. officials are also meeting in Geneva and Amman.

Asked whether the peace conference could go ahead as planned, Kerry said, "Yes it can."

Syria's main, Western-backed opposition groups announced on March 11 that they will attend the indirect peace talks with the Damascus government in Geneva.

Kerry is due in Paris for talks on March 13 with European diplomats about Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters