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 US and Russia must find common ground over Ukraine and Syria, - Kerry

The United States and Russia need to find "common ground" to restore stability in eastern Ukraine and end Syria's civil war.

This was announced by U.S. secretary of state John Kerry at opening talks in Moscow with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday before seeing President Vladimir Putin, Censor.NET reports citing Herald Scotland.

Read more: Kerry to discuss Ukraine and Syria with Russia's Putin and Lavrov in Moscow Dec. 15

Kerry said the world benefits when great powers agree in their approaches to major crises.

"Even when there have been differences between us, we have been able to work effectively on specific issues," he said as he began what are expected to be difficult discussions in the Russian capital. "Today, I hope we can find some common ground."

Russia and the U.S. are at odds over the mechanics of a political transition aimed at halting the war in Syria, as well as the military approach to fighting Islamic State (IS).

The results of the meetings will determine whether or not a new international diplomatic conference on Syria will go ahead as planned at the United Nations on Friday.

See more: Russian Su-24 employs cluster bombs against residents of Syrian city of Douma, killing 40 people. PHOTOS+VIDEO

On Ukraine, the two countries are split over the implementation of a February agreement meant to end hostilities between the Kyiv government and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country.

Lavrov noted "outstanding issues" with the U.S. on the Syrian political transition that is supposed to bring representatives of Syrian president Bashar Assad's government together with the opposition for negotiations by early January.

He said the U.S. should use its influence with the government in Kyiv to settle the conflict with the separatists in Ukraine by respecting a shaky ceasefire and moving ahead with political reforms.


 
 
 
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