POLITICS

Russia must back transition in Syria, Kerry says

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pressing hard on Russia to back an international conference intended to end the bloodshed in Syria and allow a transitional government to move the country beyond civil war.

Kerry met with officials from nearly a dozen countries on Saturday in Doha, Qatar, to discuss aid to the Syrian opposition and push forward on a political resolution to the crisis, which has claimed more than 93,000 lives.

Russia has been the key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime throughout the two-year conflict.

Kerry says top U.S. diplomats are ready to go to Geneva to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other officials in coming days to advance the political process.

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