US, Russia, Iran Seek to Bridge Gaps on Syria

Pamela Dockins
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting separately with his Iranian and Russian counterparts in Vienna, before international talks on Syria the top U.S. diplomat has called «the most promising» opportunity in years to end the country’s bloody conflict.In addition to one-on-one talks with Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif and Russia’s Sergei Lavrov, Kerry is taking part in informal meetings Thursday on Syria with senior diplomats from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Austria and the EU.

“We’ll see what happens,” said Kerry, as he headed into a session with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurtz.

A Syrian man walks with a bicycle amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, on Oct. 29, 2015.

A Syrian man walks with a bicycle amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, on Oct. 29, 2015.

Kurtz laid out the challenges the diplomats are facing.

“We have [the] United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on one side,” said Kurtz, and “Russia and Iran on the other side, which are working in totally different directions.”

On Friday, the meetings aimed at ironing out differences over the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will expand to include representatives from other nations.

The talks notably will not include members of either the Syrian government or the main groups trying to overthrow it.

Syrian National Coalition member Mwafaq Nairabiye warned that Iran would hamper efforts to reach a political resolution because of its support of Assad.

In a Wednesday meeting with a French parliamentary delegation, Assad said that many regional and Western countries, including France, are providing support to armed terrorist groups in Syria.

The Syrian leader frequently has referred to Syrian opposition groups as terrorists.

Latino Public Radio

Leave a Reply

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada.