Oct 15, 2016 15:50 UTC
  • Syria talks kick off in Lausanne

Talks have begun in the Swiss city of Lausanne on a resolution to the crisis in Syria, with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in attendance.

A US official said on Saturday that the negotiations had kicked off with the aim of finding a political settlement to the crisis.

Diplomats from Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were also present.

The United States has promoted the meeting as the latest attempt at international level to find ways of putting an end to more than five years of conflict in Syria. The Syrian government says Washington has been trying to stage such negotiations to facilitate truce deals and buy more time for anti-government terrorists.

Through Russia’s aerial support, Syrian forces have managed to retake key areas from militants across the country.

Lavrov said on Friday that he had “no special expectations” for the Lausanne talks, adding that Moscow had not yet witnessed reciprocal steps from its Western partners.

“We want to get down to concrete work and see how well our partners observe the UN Security Council resolution (on Syria). We are not going to propose anything else,” Lavrov said.