We hope for a peaceful solution, this is the only way to save Syria - Kerry
On Sunday while in Israel the American diplomat said: "We continue to hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict, regardless of what happens, because this is the only way to save Syria."
In early May, Russia and the United States put forth the idea of holding an international conference on Syria, which would bring the government and the opposition in Syria to the negotiating table.
Moscow and Washington believe that both sides should participate in the conference without preconditions and the matter has been discussed repeatedly.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is leaving for Brunei today where he will discuss the Syrian issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry and participate in the meeting of Russian and ASEAN ministers, as well as in the ASEAN regional forum on security and the session of ministers of the East Asia Summit due on the 1st and 2nd of July.
At the meeting with his US counterpart Lavrov is expected to clear up the US position on convening an international conference on Syria. In spite of numerous declarations of the urgent need to convene Geneva-2, it is still not clear when it will be convened and who will participate in it.
At the session of Russian and ASEAN ministers the participants will discuss further development of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN.
US Secretary of State John Kerry's marathon efforts to draw Israel and the Palestinians back to direct negotiations has failed to achieve any breakthrough despite four days of talks, a top Palestinian official said on Sunday.
"It was a positive and profound meeting with president (Mahmud) Abbas but there has been no breakthrough so far and there is still a gap between the Palestinian and Israeli positions," chief negotiator Saeb Erakat told a news conference.
He was speaking shortly after Kerry held his third round of talks with the Palestinian leader in as many days.
But US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that there had been "real progress" in his talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders over a resumption of direct peace talks after a gap of nearly three years.
"We agreed we have made real progress, but we have a few things we need to work on," Kerry said, standing next to Abbas at his presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah after their third meeting in as many days.
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday made a desperate push to revive faltering Middle East peace talks as Israeli media claimed shuttle diplomacy had failed.
The US topmost foreign affairs official has spent 13 hours with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu since Thursday. The latest session between the two statesmen and their aides lasted until nearly 4 in the morning.
On Sunday morning, Mr. Kerry is expected to go to Ramallah in the West Bank to talk for the third day in a row with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
Israel's army radio painted a grim picture of Kerry's initiative, saying he has apparently failed in his goal of coaxing the sides back into direct negotiations after a gap of nearly three years.
The Palestinian leader is pressing Israel to set the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners free as a sign of commitment to peace, as well as to remove roadblocks in the West Bank and to publicly agree to the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war the baseline for negotiations.
The radio claimed Netanyahu was willing to consider just the first two conditions, but only after talks were under way, and even then in stages. So far, Israel has flatly refused to countenance any return to the 1967 borders.
Army radio also said that despite Kerry's efforts, an Israeli committee was likely to push through a big discount for buyers of nearly 1,000 new homes which are due to be built in annexed east Jerusalem.
The committee is due to meet on the issue on Monday. Last week, another local committee gave final approval to build some 70 homes in the same area on the eve of Kerry's arrival.
As news of the plans reached Ramallah, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said they showed which side was blocking a return to the negotiating table.
Voice of Russia, TASS, AFP, Reuters