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Putin To Meet Kerry In Moscow

The Kremlin has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Moscow on December 15 with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on December 14 that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also would be present at Putin’s meeting with Kerry.

Peskov said the talks are to take place after Kerry and Lavrov meet separately earlier in the day.

The U.S. State Department on December 11 had announced that Kerry would meet Putin in Moscow.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Lavrov and Kerry spoke by telephone on December 14 and agreed on the need to finalize a list of Islamist terrorist groups.

A ministry spokesman said Kerry and Lavrov also agreed that previous decisions about the conflict in Syria should be implemented before a new meeting is called with officials from Damascus and Syria’s moderate opposition leaders to try to resolve the Syrian civil war.

Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and has said that any group fighting against Assad’s forces is a terrorist group.

The United States and NATO say Russian warplanes have bombed moderate, Western-backed opposition fighters who have been battling Islamic State extremists.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, RIA, TASS, and Interfax

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