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US, Russia Military to Meet on Syria soon

The United States and Russia will hold a military meeting shortly to avoid accidental conflict in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday after meeting his counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“We agreed on the imperative of, as soon as possible — perhaps even as soon as tomorrow, but as soon as possible — having a military-to-military de-confliction discussion,” Kerry told reporters at a joint appearance with Lavrov.

Kerry said that, despite Washington’s concern over Russia’s support for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and its choice of targets in its just-launched bombing campaign, the two men had developed ideas to push forward the political process there.

“We all want Syria to be democratic, united, secular. A Syria which is a home for all ethnic groups whose rights are guaranteed, but we have some differences as for the details on how to get there,” Lavrov said.

Kerry said both men would take the proposals they discussed back to their respective leaders, presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, and stay in touch while the two sides resolved their differences.

“We will follow up on that for certain because we also agreed that it is imperative to find a solution and avoid escalating it in any way and seeing it intensified by forces beyond control,” Kerry said.

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