Following talks with Russian leaders on the situation in Syria, the threat of Islamic State terrorists in the region, as well as the Iranian nuclear deal and the developing conflict in Yemen, US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Beijing later this week.
Kerry held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Russian city of Sochi on Tuesday.
Although most western leaders, following Washington’s cue, did not attend the Victory Day parade in Moscow earlier last weekend, Kerry laid a wreath at a war memorial in Sochi on Tuesday, accompanied by Lavrov.
“I think Sergey and I both came away from this ceremony with a very powerful reminder of the sacrifices that we shared to bring about a safer world, and of what our nations can accomplish when our peoples are working together towards the same goal,” said Kerry.
The Russian Foreign Minister has said it is “absolutely necessary” to avoid steps that could further harm the ailing relations between Russia and the US.
Although mindful of the contradictions in their respective assessment of the situation in Ukraine, Lavrov said both Washington and Moscow “shared a view that it is only possible to resolve the issue through peaceful ways – through a comprehensive and full implementation of the Minsk agreements”.
“It was stressed during the meeting that Russia strives to implement the Minsk Agreements in full and will do its utmost to support this process,’ added a Kremlin statement.
“We also agreed that the problem of the ISIL’s activities, as well as the activities of Jabhat al-Nusrah are also very dangerous. Those armed groups are getting even more powerful, and they are threatening the peace not only in the Middle East region but also beyond it. We are absolutely convinced that it is necessary to join our efforts and act together more efficiently. It requires efforts of all leading powers. We believe that it is absolutely necessary to consistently fight that evil with no double standards based on the universally recognized principles of international law,” Lavrov added.
The prospects of a Putin-Obama meet was not discussed during talks with Kerry, said Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov.
Later this week on Saturday, Kerry and Chinese leaders will discuss the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue scheduled to be held in Washington in late June as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to the U.S. capital in September.
TBP and Agencies