Russian foreign minister arrives in Washington

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Washington early on Tuesday for talks with U.S. President Barack Obama and a meeting of the Middle East Quartet, a Russian embassy spokesman said.

During his visit Lavrov will also meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss Obama’s visit to Moscow due this fall.

The Russian and U.S. top diplomats will also discuss European missile defense, visa issues and a bilateral adoption agreement.

In his interview to the Rossiya24 channel shortly before departure, Lavrov said he would seek explanations for Washington’s refusal to provide legally binding guarantees that the U.S. missile shield in Europe is not directed against Russia.

The Russian Foreign Minister will also attend a meeting of the Middle East Quartet of negotiators, comprising Russia, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States.

Lavrov will meet with his partners in the talks – Clinton, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a working dinner later in the day.

The agenda of the talks will include the dispute between rival Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas over the formation of the unity government for the Palestinians and the resumption of direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.


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