September 27, 2015 / 4:58 PM / 2 years ago

Kerry, Lavrov discussed possible 'transition' in Syria: U.S. official

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday discussed Russia’s military involvement in Syria, as well as ways to “de-conflict” and the possibility of a political transition for the war-ravaged country.

Residents ride motorcycles near a hole in the ground at a site hit by what activists said was an air strike by forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Hesh village in the southern countryside of Idlib, Syria September 27, 2015. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

“It was a very thorough exchange of views on both the military and the political implications of Russia’s increased engagement in Syria,” a senior U.S. official told reporters on condition of anonymity, adding that the meeting was to prepare for talks between the U.S. and Russian presidents on Monday.

“They discussed the need not simply to de-conflict but, if possible, to get back to the conversation about a way forward on a political transition,” the official added. “They did discuss various ways to look at that.”

De-conflict is a diplomatic term for avoiding unintended incidents or accidents between different military forces operating in the same theater.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, writing Louis Charbonneau

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