Lavrov, Kerry in Paris to Discuss Preparations for Geneva Conference 2

MOSCOW- Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry are meeting this evening in France to look into the specifics of the upcoming “Geneva conference.2” in a push to find a peaceful way out of the crisis in Syria according to the Voice of Russia Website.

Neither Russia nor the US has so far named an exact date for the anticipated talks. It was previously announced that the conference could take place by the end of May. The meeting was then postponed until at least mid-June, diplomatic sources said.

The new conference will be a redo of last year’s global Geneva meeting that drafted a peace roadmap for Syria.

Lavrov and Kerry are to meet on Monday in France for the sixth time this year, and Syria will once again be a top issue on the agenda, with the main challenge expected to be the list of participants and opposition’s attendance.

Russia’s Lavrov has also named the second issue with the talks: ensuring that key regional players, especially Syria's neighbors, are present in order to broker an effective and lasting solution to the crisis.

Damascus has already agreed to take part in the talks. Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said the government always believed that “dialogue among the Syrian people is the solution to this crisis,” adding that “nobody and no force in the world can make decisions on behalf of the Syrian people, as they alone have the right to do that.”

CSTO foreign chiefs agree on Syria, Iran

In the same context, foreign ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have signed a joint declaration, outlining their common stand on the Syrian issue and other international topics.

"CSTO foreign ministers have signed a statement on key international issues, summing up their stance on the crisis in Syrian , Iranian nuclear program, Afghanistan, Nagorny-Karabakh settlement and other matters of concern,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

He said a gather-up of CSTO foreign ministers and secretaries of local defense councils today looked into ways to boost common defenses and coordinate their peacekeeping efforts.

H. Mustafa