U.S. postpones August 28 meeting with Russia over Syria gas attack

WASHINGTON Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:49pm EDT

U. S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

U. S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva June 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department on Monday postponed a meeting scheduled for Wednesday in The Hague between senior diplomats from the United States and Russia due to "ongoing consultations" over the chemical weapons attack in Syria.

The meeting was to have discussed plans for an international peace conference to end the civil war in Syria.

But a senior State Department official said in a statement the meeting was called off "given our ongoing consultations about the appropriate response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria on August 21."

The meeting was to have been between Wendy Sherman, undersecretary for political affairs at the State Department and U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, and Russian deputy foreign ministers Gennady Gatilov and Mikhail Bogdanov.

"We will work with our Russian counterparts to reschedule the meeting," the senior official said, adding that the chemical weapons attack demonstrated the need for a "comprehensive and durable political solution" to end the bloodshed.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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