Russia and the US on Friday began second round of negotiations on securing Syria’s chemical arsenal, hoping the high-stakes talks would lead to broader peace efforts, even as Damascus submitted an application to UN for joining the chemical weapons convention.
Heading into second day of hastily arranged talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the two sides were “deeply committed to a negotiated solution” to the Syrian conflict.
Hailing the first round as “constructive”, Kerry said he and Lavrov were “working hard to find the common ground to be able to make that happen”.
Both Washington and Moscow said they hoped talks on dismantling Syria’s chemical arsenal would open the door to wider peace efforts.
Talks between Kerry and Lavrov are focussed on a four-step plan, which includes Syria joining the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The plan, proposed by Russia this week and supported by Syria’s allies, is aimed at averting any US-led military strike against the embattled Assad regime.