Russia, US Discuss Syria Transition Process

Talks Focus on Possible Multi-Lateral Meetings

Secretary of State John Kerry and his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met over the weekend to discuss the possibility of a transitional political process in Syria, which Russia believes could eventually unify secular rebels and the Assad government.

Details are still scant, but US officials said the focus was on the possibility of multi-lateral meetings including various unnamed nations. The US has talked up this idea in the past, but reportedly has been averse to the inclusion of Western European nations.

As usual though, the two nations are also deeply divided on what the transition looks like, with Russia keen to see Assad stay in power pending the defeat of ISIS, and the US still insisting that Assad cannot be involved under any circumstances.

This likely is why the US is averse to Western European involvement, as Britain and others have expressed support for Assad staying on a temporary basis, and their inclusion in the talks would make the dispute less of a Russia vs. US issue and more of a US vs everyone issue.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.