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Kerry: U.S., Russia Want Syria Conference Soon

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talk to reporters in Brunei on July 2.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says both Washington and Moscow are seriously committed to organizing an international conference on Syria.

Kerry was speaking in Brunei after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of an Asian security summit.

Kerry said both countries believe the meeting should take place as soon as possible, but acknowledged it might not be possible until August or later.

He said Russia and the United States wanted to "save the state of Syria and to minimize destruction."

Washington and Moscow have been trying since May to bring rebels and representatives of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to the negotiating table.

Russia has been Assad's main backer in the 27-month conflict, which the UN says has claimed at least 93,000 lives.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters