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U.S., Russia Agree To Push Syria Peace Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States and Russia have agreed they would try to push forward negotiations to end the five-year war in Syria.

Kerry was speaking at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after meeting him and President Vladimir Putin on March 24 in the Kremlin.

He said the United States and Russia, which brokered a partial cease-fire in Syria last month, agreed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s ally, "should do the right thing" and engage in the peace talks, which remain deadlocked over his fate.

He also said Washington and Moscow agreed to aim for a draft version of a new constitution for Syria by August.

Lavrov said Moscow was committed to promoting the political transition in Syria, but said it must be based on “mutual consent” between the government and opposition.

As a round of indirect talks in Geneva between the Syrian government and opposition concluded on March 24, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said he had found a lot of common ground between the two sides.

Based on reporting by AFP, Bloomberg, and the BBC

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