Russia-US holds important meeting on Syria conflict

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Russia-US holds important meeting on Syria conflict

GENEVA (APP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva on Friday for an expected push towards resuming peace talks for war-ravaged Syria.

The pair sat down in a luxury hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva, launching into talks expected to centre heavily on Syria's devastating conflict.

The UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on Thursday described the meeting as "important", and said it could help his drive to resume peace talks.

Successive rounds of international negotiations have failed to end a conflict that has killed more than 290,000 people and forced millions from their homes.

Moscow and Washington support opposite sides in the war, which erupted in 2011 after President Bashar al-Assad unleashed a brutal crackdown against a pro-democracy revolt.

In Geneva, Kerry and Lavrov shook hands cordially before the cameras, but did not comment on what they expected from their meeting.

When asked by a reporter what they thought was the primary impediment to a ceasefire in Syria, Lavrov said: "I don't want to spoil the atmosphere for the negotiations."

Kerry, who late Thursday flew in from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia where he announced a new peace push for conflict-torn Yemen, made no comment.