Top US diplomat to visit Jordan for Syria talks

16-05-2013 02:51 PM

Ammon News - WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry will take part in a meeting of the so-called "Friends of Syria" group in Jordan next week, a US official confirmed Wednesday.

"The secretary looks forward to attending," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told journalists about the talks to be hosted in Amman, adding that "a substantial amount of our diplomatic energy is focused on this."

But he had no further details on the talks, which come as the United States and Russia are working to organize a peace conference bringing together the Syrian opposition and the regime for talks on ending the conflict.

"The secretary's invested in his personal diplomacy in all these regards, both in supporting the opposition and in working toward a peaceful and negotiated solution to end the violence in Syria," Ventrell added.

The Jordanian foreign ministry told AFP on Tuesday the mid-week Amman talks would also be attended by the foreign ministers of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Britain, France, Turkey, Germany and Italy.

"This meeting will follow up on previous meetings in Istanbul and Abu Dhabi to discuss the unfortunate events in Syria and coordinate positions in line with the recent US-Russian agreement to revive the political path to tackle the crisis," foreign ministry spokeswoman Sabah Rafei said.

The most recent Friends of Syria meeting was held last month in Istanbul.

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