US, Russian diplomats to meet next Wednesday to discuss Syria

August 23, 2013 02:43

WASHINGTON - Senior US and Russian diplomats will meet in The Hague next Wednesday to discuss ending Syria's two-year civil war, the State Department said on Thursday, in what would be the first such meeting since reports of a deadly chemical attack outside the capital, Damascus.

While the meeting was previously announced, a date was never released.

The delegations will include State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, and Russian deputy foreign ministers Gennady Gatilov and Mikhail Bogdanov, the State Department said.

Ford will meet with Syrian opposition leaders in Istanbul, on Sunday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The United States, which supports moderate Syrian rebel groups, and Russia, an ally of President Bashar Assad and a supplier of arms to Damascus, have been discussing holding a peace conference that would bring together the warring sides.

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