UPDATE 1-U.S., Russia resume talks to eliminate Syria chemical weapons

Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:34am EDT

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GENEVA, Sept 14 (Reuters) - The United States and Russia resumed negotiations on Saturday on eliminating Syria's chemical weapons programme amid signs of an imminent announcement.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were huddled with their aides at a poolside cafe at the Geneva hotel where their teams of disarmament negotiators have been meeting for almost three days.

Negotiators were meeting separately before a joint press conference expected later in the day.

U.S.-Russian talks on eliminating Syria's chemical weapons programme have reached a "pivotal point", a U.S. official said on Friday, and both nations said they wanted to renew efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to the war in Syria.

Under the Russian proposal, Syria would sign international treaties banning chemical weapons and hand over its stocks of such weapons to the international community for destruction.

U.S. officials says about 1,400 people were killed in a chemical weapons attack in Syria on Aug. 21.

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