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US 'encouraged' by momentum in Syria peace talks

As the partial Syria cease-fire holds for a month, the United States and Russia expressed cautious optimism that they have found agreement on ways to move the Syria peace process forward.
U.N. mediator for Syria, Staffan de Mistura (R) gives a news conference at the end of the Syria peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse - RTSC3UK

WASHINGTON — The United States and Russia are expressing cautious optimism that they have found common ground on how to move the Syria peace process forward when talks resume in Geneva next month.

The more positive US and Russian assessments on the Syria peace process come amid an increase in US-Russian engagement on the matter that has long been sought by Russia. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials March 24. CIA Director John Brennan also secretly traveled to Moscow for consultations on Syria in early March, Russian officials said March 28. Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon will travel to Moscow March 28-31 to follow up on Kerry’s consultation there, the State Department said.

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