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Clinton, Lavrov to discuss Syria in Vladivostok

Arab World Materials 29 August 2012 06:35
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to Asia this week to underline the growing US engagement in the region, officials said Tuesday, dpa reported.
Clinton, Lavrov to discuss Syria in Vladivostok

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to Asia this week to underline the growing US engagement in the region, officials said Tuesday, dpa reported.

She will depart Thursday for China, the Cook Islands, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Brunei and Russia.

"We have been emphasizing the pivot to Asia for some time now," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. "The secretary is personally very invested in that."

The growing disputes in the South China Sea would likely be part of her talks. It was not clear yet if she would meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Nuland said.

"We don't want to see the disputes in the South China Sea or anywhere else settled by intimidation, by force," Nuland said. "We want to see them settled at the negotiating table, and we have also consistently been calling for increasing transparency in the Chinese military posture."

Clinton is to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Vladivostok at the end of her trip, and just ahead of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation September 8-9.

The two officials will likely discuss Syria as well as recent comments by Russian leaders about reducing the number of nuclear weapons held by Moscow. Nuland said the US would reject linking arms control talks with US plans for a missile defence system in Europe.

Clinton will attend the Pacific Islands Forum meeting on Friday in the Cook Islands. She will be in Jakarta on September 3, Beijing September 4 to 5 and Dili on September 6.

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