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Lavrov Gets Kerry on the Phone to Talk Syria

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov finally managed to get through to his US counterpart John Kerry to discuss the situation in Syria by telephone, the US Department of State said.

MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov finally managed to get through to his US counterpart John Kerry to discuss the situation in Syria by telephone, the US Department of State said.

“They spoke yesterday for about 40 minutes,” a department spokeswoman said at a daily briefing for the media on Friday.

“They primarily, obviously, discussed the international community’s response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” the spokeswoman said, according to the transcript on the Department of State’s website.

“They also, again, spoke about [planned peace conference on Syria in] Geneva and the necessity of Geneva. So at the same time we disagree about chemical weapons, we continue to talk about the necessity of Geneva,” she said.

The conversation was Lavrov and Kerry's first since August 27, the spokeswoman said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Kerry on Wednesday of dodging Lavrov’s calls without an explanation.

The ministry also claimed that US diplomats repeatedly declined to set up a time for a telephone conversation between Lavrov and Kerry since last Saturday, when US President Barack Obama formally requested the Congress to endorse US airstrikes against the Syrian governmental forces.

The US attack is meant to punish the Syrian regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. Russia opposes the strikes, with Russian President Vladimir Putin insisting Friday that the chemical attack was work of a Syrian insurgency looking to trigger foreign attacks against the advancing governmental army.

 

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