Tuesday May 07, 201310:56 AM GMT
Kerry in Moscow to press US agenda against Syria
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in February 2013 (file photo)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in February 2013 (file photo)
Tue May 7, 2013 10:50AM
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US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Moscow in a high profile bid to press top Russian officials against backing the Syrian government amid the recent US-backed Israeli aggression against the nation.


Issues surrounding Israeli aerial and missile strikes against Syrian installations are widely expected to be the top agenda in the talks as the US has announced a major effort to begin providing military aid for foreign-backed militant gangs, trying to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power, press reports said Tuesday.

Russia has already expressed major concerns over the Israeli attacks and warned that such acts of aggression threaten to expand tensions to neighboring countries.

Despite growing US-led pressures on Moscow to halt its support for the Syrian government, Russia has so far resisted efforts by the US and its allies to wage a direct military intervention against Syria, insisting that the crisis will have to be resolved diplomatically.

Kerry will meet with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, although the two greatly disagree on the events in Syria and the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

This while the Obama administration has recently said it does not rule out providing arms for the militant gangs in Syria which include al-Qaeda-linked terrorist elements.

Ahead of Kerry's visit to Moscow, Russia's foreign ministry called on the West to stop politicizing the issue of chemical weapons in Syria,.

This is while Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN commission probing the alleged use of the nerve gas sarin in Syria, announced on Sunday that the country’s opposition forces, and not the Assad regime, were behind the use of chemical weapons.

There are "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" of sarin gas being used "on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities," she reportedly told a Swiss-Italian television outlet.

Following his visit to Russia, Kerry is to travel to Rome to meet with Italian, Israeli and Jordanian officials to discuss Middle East issues, including the Syrian situation.

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