Kerry, Lavrov to meet for Syria talks on Saturday in Switzerland

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Saturday to discuss the conflict in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that the two top diplomats will "consider possible additional steps for creating conditions for resolving the Syrian crisis."

In Washington, a US State Department official confirmed the meeting was taking place but offered no other details.

Last week, the United States announced that it was suspending military cooperation with Russia on Syria amid Moscow's continued bombing of the northern city of Aleppo.

Meanwhile, 25 people were killed earlier Wednesday in airstrikes on eastern Aleppo that targeted a market area in the rebel-held district of al-Fardous, the White Helmets rescue group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group confirmed at least seven deaths in those strikes.

Rescuers were at risk because the strikes continued after they arrived at the scene to aid the wounded, White Helmets press officer Ibrahim al-Hajj told dpa by phone from eastern Aleppo.

The renewed shelling came amid a war of words between Russia and Western countries over the situation in Aleppo, which was Syria's largest city before the five-year civil war.

Russia intervened in Syria a year ago to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's crumbling army. Moscow's bombing campaign has enabled government forces to reclaim territory from both rebels and the Islamic State extremist group.

Some 250,000 to 300,000 civilians are thought to be trapped in eastern Aleppo, with dwindling food supplies and extremely limited medical care in underground hospitals that have been repeatedly hit by airstrikes.

Last update: Wed, 12/10/2016 - 18:44

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