Kerry says sees opportunity for progress on Syria as he meets Zarif
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he saw an opportunity for progress this week in ending Syria's four-year civil war before meeting Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday, Reuters reported.
Western officials said Kerry wants to launch a new initiative to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict, which has taken on a new urgency in light of Russia's military build-up in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a refugee crisis that has spilled over into Europe.
The new U.S. approach, which officials stressed was in its infancy, could bring Russia, a major ally of Assad, together with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar that support Syrian opposition groups against Assad.
"I view this week as a major opportunity for any number of countries to play an important role in trying to resolve some of the very difficult issues (of) the Middle East," Kerry told reporters as he and Zarif posed for photographs.