Syria in focus as Lavrov and Tillerson meet in Washington on May 10

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Moscow, April 12, 2017.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Moscow, April 12, 2017.

Flickr / MFA Russia
It will be the third meeting of the top diplomats

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are meeting in Washington on May 10 to focus on Syria and other international issues, as well as to discuss current issues in bilateral relations.

The top diplomats "are expected to exchange opinions on key international matters and topical issues of bilateral relations," the Russian Foreign Ministry said ahead of the talks.

The third meeting of the two senior diplomats since Tillerson’s appointment as U.S. Secretary of State was preceded by talks of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov with U.S. counterpart Thomas Shannon.

Ryabkov told TASS that the consultations "have helped in drawing up some issues more thoroughly and better, including the ones Minister Lavrov and State Secretary Tillerson will be considering."

"I proceed from the fact that Syria will dominate the talks. Therefore, Mr. Shannon and I have done some work to ease somehow the bilateral agenda for the ministers so that they can spare time for Syria and other international issues," he said.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the forthcoming meeting of Lavrov and Tillerson would help implement the agreements Russian and U.S. presidents, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, had reached on settling the Syrian conflict, on defusing tensions over the Korean Peninsula and on other topical international issues.

The U.S. State Department said that the top diplomats would also discuss Ukraine, including implementation of the Minsk peace deal, and some bilateral issues. After a visit to Washington, Lavrov will head to Alaska to attend the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting. The White House did not offer comment on a possible face-to-face meeting between Lavrov and U.S. President Donald Trump.

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