News Column

Kerry Travels to Russia to Meet With Putin, Lavrov

May 7, 2013
John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin on Syria and other matters of mutual interests, aides said.

"[We] fully expect serious conversation on Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan," a senior State Department official said Monday during a briefing on Kerry's trip. "And finally, without question, we'll be discussing Syria."

"I fully expect a serious dialogue on issues of trade and cooperation," the official, speaking anonymously, said. "Both President Putin and President Obama ... have made clear that they want to see more activity in terms of our bilateral relationship in this dimension, and so this trip will give us an opportunity to discuss some of the ideas that we've outlined in that sphere."

Kerry and Russian leaders also will discuss counter-terrorism cooperation, the official said.

Kerry will meet with Putin and then have a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Kerry's two-day trip to Russia is his first since being confirmed as secretary of state.

Kerry flew to Moscow Monday. On Wednesday, he will fly to Rome, where he will meet with senior Italian government officials to discuss bilateral and global issues, including events in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere in the Middle East, the State Department said.

While in Rome, Kerry will meet with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh to discuss regional issues and with Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni as part of his discussions on peace in the Middle East, the department said.

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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