WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Saturday, Kerry met Gulf Arab countries and the Syrian opposition in Saudi Arabia for talks aimed at pushing the Syrian peace process forward, among other points. Late in the day, Kerry met with Riyad Hijab, the General Coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee and other delegates representing the Syrian opposition in the upcoming Geneva negotiations.
"They discussed the upcoming UN-sponsored negotiations regarding a political transition in Syria and all agreed on the urgent need to end the violence afflicting the Syrian people. Secretary Kerry also emphasized the importance of maintaining the momentum of the International Syria Support Group following its meetings in Vienna and New York and following passage of UNSCR 2254," the department said in a statement on Saturday.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting several opposition factions and militant groups.
In December, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution which provides for the beginning of talks between the Syrian government and opposition in January.
January 25 was initially set as the target day for the first round of intra-Syrian talks, with January 27 later offered as a possible date of the first sit-down. The UN Office in Geneva announced on Friday the much-anticipated talks were likely to be postponed for a few days.