Lavrov and Kerry to meet in Geneva on August 26

The Russian foreign ministry said the two men discussed Syria on Wednesday, "including the situation around Aleppo where the (Syrian) government forces, with the support of the Russian military, have been carrying a humanitarian operation".

On Ukraine, the United States supports the pro-Western government in Kiev and has led sanctions against Moscow for annexing Crimea in 2014 and supporting pro-Russian separatists in the east.

Kerry, now on a visit to Nigeria, had said Monday that he hoped to meet Lavrov this week. "Instead of degrading these terrorist organizations, however, Russia's actions have empowered the Syrian regime - which uses barrel bombs and, reportedly, toxic chemicals, like chlorine, on its own people", the USA official said. "We as one Syrian people can not accept aid at a time when global organizations can not send aid to other cities under siege".

Russian Federation says a solution to Syria's 5 1/2-year-long war may be getting closer after relations improved with Turkey, a major backer of rebel groups fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

"We are continuing those discussions". "The mutual trust is growing with every meeting".

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters in Geneva on August 25 that the Kerry-Lavrov meeting would be "important" and have "an impact, certainly on the. political initiatives of the UN in order to relaunch the political process on Syria".

Sergei Lavrov arrived in Geneva for talks with John Kerry on the results of the consultations between the military experts from both countries on Syria, APA reports quoting Sputnik. He suspended the talks in late April after a resurgence in the fighting.

Friday's meeting came as the conflict became further complicated by Ankara's decision this week to send tanks into Syria to back rebel fighters.

Kerry first made the truce and coordination proposal during a visit to Moscow last month.

In a nod to previous failed attempts to resurrect the cessation of hostilities, Kerry stressed the importance of keeping the details secret.

A "terrorist center remains" in these areas of Syria and "no one can deal with it because so-called moderate opposition groups are there", Zakharova said. We continue to make headway. "We don't want a deal for the sake of the deal, we want a deal that is effective".

Kerry, asked about this development, declined to comment.

Expectations are low for the talks, particularly given how efforts to forge a new U.S. -Russia understanding have fallen short virtually every month for the past five years. Under the US -proposed coordination deal, which the White House has approved over Pentagon objections, Russian and American planners would coordinate targets in real time and agree on whose aircraft would strike them. Proponents at the White House and the State Department say the deal will allow the step up its attacks on Nusra and help protect USA allies on the ground in Syria who have faced air attacks from Syrian and Russian forces.

These goals are not new, but keeping recent developments in mind, it has become more important to achieve them, U.S. officials told Associated Press news agency. But Turkish forces have also shelled a US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia.

Rebels and Syria's army agreed the plan on Thursday to evacuate all the 4,000 residents and some 700 insurgents from Daraya in the coming days, ending one of the longest stand-offs in the civil war.

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