Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry met his Russian, Saudi Arabian and Turkish counterparts here on Friday to explore a political solution to put an end to the crisis in Syria.
The meetings were held weeks after Russia’s air strikes against extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria, and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s visit to Moscow this week, Xinhua reported.
Kerry consulted with foreign ministers Sergey Lavrov, Adel al-Jubeir and Feridun Sinirlioglu, striving to find a diplomatic solution to end the conflict. However, the US and Russia have differences in terms of the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country in the future.
Bashar al-Assad’s unexpected visit to Moscow seems to have sent a message to his foes that he remains Syria’s legitimate authority.
The civil war and the rise of IS in the country have forced thousands of people to leave the country, many of whom are coming to Europe seeking asylum.
Russia said it started air strikes in Syria after the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, granted President Vladimir Putin the right to send troops abroad following a request by Bashar al-Assad.