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US, Russia continue Syria discussions

US and Russia continue discussions on a post-Assad transition strategy despite some disagreements on approaches to the settlement of a political crisis in Syria.

world Updated: Jun 15, 2012 13:00 IST

The US and Russia are continuing discussions on a post-Assad transition strategy despite some disagreements on approaches to the settlement of a political crisis in Syria, according to the US State Department.

US Deputy State Secretary Robert Burns met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday on the sidelines of the Hearts of Asia ministerial meeting in Kabul to discuss a wide range of issues, including the situation in Syria.

"It was a constructive conversation. I won't say there aren't still gaps. There are still gaps, but it was a constructive conversation. And we're continuing to talk to the Russians about this (crisis in Syria)," State department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a news briefing on Thursday.

Russia has twice - along with China - vetoed UN resolutions against Damascus over what it calls a pro-rebel bias, but has, however, fully backed UN-Arab envoy Kofi Annan's six-point plan.

Annan's plan calls for withdrawal of heavy weaponry from urban areas and a ceasefire to end 15-months of spiralling violence in Syria.

According to UN estimates, over 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.