PARIS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says U.N.-sponsored peace talks on Syria should go ahead Monday as planned, but Russia and U.S. monitors are meeting first to discuss perceived cease-fire violations.
Kerry, speaking in Saudi Arabia, said he hoped for a telephone conversation Saturday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about accusations that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is violating truce promises. He said Russian and U.S. officials are also meeting Saturday in Geneva and Amman.
Asked whether the peace conference could go ahead Monday, Kerry said, "Yes it can."
Syria's main, Western-backed opposition groups said Friday they will attend the indirect peace talks with the Damascus government in Geneva starting Monday.
Kerry is due in Paris for talks on Sunday with European diplomats about Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine.