Following today’s talks in Vienna, which he labeled “consultations,” Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that the next official talks on Syria could begin as soon as next week, to discuss some ideas which he says were floated today, but which remain secret.
Today’s meeting involved Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the US, though Kerry suggested other nations might be allowed to be involved in the actual talks. When asked, he wouldn’t rule out Iranian involvement, though it seems that at this point there is no serious consideration toward involving Syria itself.
Iranian involvement would likely be opposed by Saudi Arabia, who in their own statement said there was “no consensus” on Assad at Vienna, likely reflecting Saudi and US demands for immediate regime change and Russia’s opposition to that.
While the US didn’t rule out Iranian involvement, there have been reports earlier this month that Kerry very much wants to exclude Western European nations from the talks, claiming France, Britain, and Germany are “not directly involved” and should remain sidelined.