The media reported that the main topics of their discussion were – what else – Syria and Ukraine. The two prominent diplomats exchanged views on these two crises, while Kerry was simultaneously trying to shore up American support for two controversial initiatives. In the Mideast, he sought to reassure the US’ allies about the Iranian nuclear deal, while in Southeast Asia he promoted the ‘Pivot to Asia’ and Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Kerry-Lavrov interaction, despite getting increasingly closer, revealed that US-Russia relations are handicapped by deep-seated mistrust which leaves very limited area for constructive engagement. The Kremlin initiative on forming a broad international coalition to fight Islamic State, unveiled by Sergey Lavrov in Doha, was turned down by his American counterpart without any sound explanation.
As a follow up to the Doha meeting, the Kerry-Lavrov talks in Kuala-Lumpur, held on the sidelines of the annual ASEAN summit, failed to produce a common understanding on who is dragging their feet in the implementation of Minsk accords, seen as a roadmap to the much-awaited peace in Ukraine.
Fyodor Voilolovsky, Deputy Director, Institute of World Economy and International Relations(studio guest) and Kamal Gaballa, Former Managing Editor at Al-Ahram daily(Cairo) join us to discuss the issue.