John Kerry meets Putin, Both agree to take forward Syrian peace plan

MOSCOW: US Secretary of State John Kerry met Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Tuesday to seek agreement on how best to push forward efforts to halt Syria's brutal civil war. In a stark reminder of the urgency of the quest, even as the US envoy and the Kremlin leader were meeting, a monitoring group said suspected Russian air strikes had killed 34 Syrian civilians. Russia and the United States are sponsors of an international effort to broker a ceasefire and political talks between Bashar al-Assad's regime and Syria's armed opposition. Kerry came to Moscow on Tuesday not even knowing whether Russia would agree that the next international meeting on the crisis should take place on Friday in New York. "I am very happy to have the opportunity to meet and talk with you," Putin said to John Kerry. Kerry said that he hoped to address the crises both in Syria and in Ukraine, where Washington accuses Moscow of backing separatist rebels and has imposed sanctions on Russia. (Washington Post)