Kerry, Lavrov to meet in Paris

Friday - 5/24/2013, 10:00am EDT

Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov next week in Paris to discuss peace talks in Syria.

U.S. officials say they want to advance efforts to start talks between the Syrian government and opposition leaders.

The officials say Kerry will extend a seven-day trip through the Middle East and Africa by one day to dine Monday with Lavrov.

The U.S. wants to convince Syrian rebel leaders to attend the planned peace talks in Geneva next month. The Russians have been pressing Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime to attend as well. The U.S. hopes that by bringing both parties to the negotiating table, it will make progress on a political transition that could end more than two years of civil war.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.