MOSCOW Russian, U.S. and U.N. officials will meet next week to discuss ways to bring the warring sides in Syria together for a peace conference, Russian news agencies quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying on Thursday.
"Preparations for the international conference on Syria will be discussed" at the three-way meeting in Geneva on June 5, Interfax quoted the unidentified Russian ministry source as saying.
The official said U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and U.N. Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman would attend the June 5 meeting. State-run news agency RIA said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov would also take part.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on May 7 they would try to bring Syrian government and opposition representatives together as soon as possible for talks aimed at ending the 26-month-old conflict. No date has been set for the conference.
Lavrov accused the opposition Syrian National Coalition of undermining peace efforts after it said on Wednesday it would take part in the conference only if a deadline was set for a settlement that would force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.
Lavrov and Kerry agreed to the June 5 meeting in Geneva with U.N. representatives at talks in Paris earlier this week, the Russian Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying. No further details were immediately available.
(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Steve Gutterman and Timothy Heritage)