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Kerry to meet Russian, Iranian FMs next week

27 february 2015, 13:54
US Secretary of State John Kerry. ©REUTERS/Jason Reed
US Secretary of State John Kerry. ©REUTERS/Jason Reed

 US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet next week with his Russian and Iranian counterparts seeking an end to fighting in Ukraine and to advance a nuclear deal with Iran, US officials said Thursday, AFP reports.

His meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva early next week would come days after Kerry accused Russian officials of lying "to my face" over Moscow's role in the conflict in Ukraine.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry would address a high level meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

While in the Swiss city, he "will also meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss Ukraine and regional issues of common interest," Psaki said in a statement.

He will then travel to Montreux to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, for another round of talks as a March 31 deadline to hammer down a complex deal to rein in Iran's nuclear program looms.

The pace of talks have stepped up as the clock ticks down to the deadline, and Kerry only returned on Monday from meetings with the Iranian minister in the Swiss city.

From Montreux, Kerry will travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman "to discuss the situation in Yemen, ISIL, and other issues of shared concern," Psaki said.

From Riyadh, Kerry will then fly to London to join a conference of foreign ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council.

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