16:37 GMT +324 January 2019
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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and US Secretary of State John Kerry

    Kerry, Lavrov Discuss Syrian Crisis in Phone Conversation

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    Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the United States has supported the overthrow of the Assad government, while Russia has recognized Assad as the legitimate Syrian authority.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the current situation in Syria with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a phone conversation, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday.

    "I know that Syria was certainly on the agenda of topics that the Secretary [Kerry] wanted to raise with the Foreign Minister [Lavrov], but I haven’t gotten a readout of that call yet," Kirby said.

    Kirby noted that the telephone call was initiated by Kerry.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011 as several opposition and radical Islamist groups, including the Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front, have fought the Syrian Army and the government of President Bashar Assad.

    The US-led coalition of some 62 nations seeks to dismantle the Islamic State, which has captured vast areas in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate there.

    Russia has been actively participating in international efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria, as well as provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and military equipment to the Syrian Army to fight extremist Islamic groups.

    Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the United States has supported the overthrow of the Assad government, while Russia has recognized Assad as the legitimate Syrian authority.


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