ABUJA, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 24th August, 2016) : US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday for talks on Syria and Ukraine, his spokesman said Wednesday. Kerry, currently on a visit to Nigeria, had said Monday that he hoped to meet Lavrov this week. Washington and Moscow have been in contact for weeks over establishing military cooperation to fight the Islamic State militant group in Syria.
"Other issues" will also be on the agenda, spokesman John Kirby said, without elaborating. Kerry will leave Geneva on Monday. Russia and the United States are on opposite sides of the civil conflict in Syria, but have a common foe in the IS. The situation in Syria has been further complicated by the launch of an offensive by Turkey -- a US NATO ally opposed to the regime in Damascus -- aimed at pushing the militants out of the Syrian border town of Jarabulus.
On Ukraine, the United States supports the pro-western government in Kiev and has led sanctions against Moscow for annexing Crimea in 2014 and supporting ethnic Russian separatists in the east of the country. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine soared last week after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of attempting an armed incursion into Crimea. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko warned of a possible "full-scale" Russian invasion.