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    Members of al Qaeda's Nusra Front prepare to fire a mortar towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in al-Mallah farms, north of Aleppo, February 18, 2015

    Kerry, Lavrov to Agree List of Terrorist Organizations During Moscow Talks

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    The key issue of the Lavrov-Kerry meeting on Tuesday is the list of terrorist organizations, Russia's deputy foreign minister said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry will attempt on Tuesday in Moscow to agree on a list of terrorist organizations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

    “The main issue for today is the agreement of lists of terrorist organizations and the possibility of moving on to implementing what was agreed on during the Vienna talks by the group under our insistence that includes not only the US-led coalition members, but also a number of other influential countries,” Ryabkov told journalists.

    The issue of holding the next meeting of the Syrian support group in New York has still not been agreed upon, Ryabkov said.

    “I suggest you ask that question about New York in the evening after the meeting with Russian President [Vladimir Putin], Russian Foreign Minister [Sergei Lavrov], and US Secretary of State [John Kerry],” Ryabkov told journalists.

    International negotiators have been planning to meet to discuss the Syrian peace process in New York on December 18.

    On Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Moscow for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. After the talks the top diplomats are expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Conflict-torn Syria, with the country’s government fighting a number of opposition factions and radical Islamist groups, including the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in Arabic) and the Nusra Front, is expected to be the main point of the ministerial talks' agenda.

    The international community, including Russia, the United States, key European and Middle Eastern states, is undertaking steps to end the Syrian civil conflict, trying to bring the government and the opposition to the negotiating table.

    According to the agreements reached at the last Vienna round of expanded-format international talks on Syria, formal negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition must take place by January, with a view to holding presidential elections in the country within 18 months.

    Russia considers that forming a list of credible and moderate opposition representatives is a necessary condition for starting these intra-Syrian talks. The list has to exclude any possible presence of terrorist groups' representatives actively operating against Syrian governmental forces.


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    terrorist, The Syrian war, Russian Foreign Ministry, John Kerry, Sergei Ryabkov, Sergei Lavrov, United States, Russia
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