Kerry to meet with Russian counterpart Thursday on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry will meet the Russian foreign minister on Thursday to discuss a possible diplomatic resolution in Syria, a State Department official confirmed.

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Kerry will fly to Geneva to huddle with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the official said.

The scheduled meeting comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity from both the United States and Russia after Moscow proposed that Syria place its chemical weapons under international control.

President Obama and top U.S. officials have said they are open to the proposal — which Syria said it would accept — even as they admit to skepticism over how serious Syria and Russia are taking the plan.

Obama told Democratic senators on Tuesday that he wanted a vote on military action delayed to give the diplomatic process a chance to play itself out.

“The president felt like it’s too early to tell if this is real, but we’re not going to wait a long time to find out,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said after Obama met with Republican senators Tuesday.

Kerry said in a State Department-sponsored Google hangout on Tuesday that any deal to transfer Syria’s chemical weapons must include a “fully verifiable process.”

“This cannot be a game, and that we have made very, very clear to the Russians,” Kerry said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, said Wednesday that the plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons would only work if the United States and its allies "pledge to renounce the use of force” against Syria.

A meeting at the United Nations scheduled for Tuesday afternoon to discuss a Syrian chemical weapons resolution has been postponed.

— Julian Pecquet contributed.