U.S. and Russian foreign ministers meeting in St. Petersburg today ahead of Saturday’s gathering of Syria ‘action group’ in Geneva, reportedly failed to bridge critical differences over a transitional plan to end the crisis, leaving meeting’s prospects uncertain. (Los Angeles Times)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposes that as part of any transition out of the current crisis, Syrian President Bashar Assad must go. Russia’s Sergei Lavrov opposes any move to force out Assad.
In spite of the disagreement, Lavrov expressed optimism that today’s meeting in Geneva would be successful, saying that there are no significant differences between the U.S. and Russia on “most things.”
"We have a very good chance tomorrow in Geneva to find a common denominator and find a path forward in order to stimulate the implementation of Annan's plan," Lavrov said at the end of his meeting with Clinton. "We're agreeing on most things." (RIA Novosti/LA Times, 29 June)
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