U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday said that he would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to propose that the two countries should “synchronise” operations in Syria against the terrorist group, Islamic State.
According to a report by the Washington Post, the U.S. wants to establish a “joint implementation group” with Russia to coordinate actions against Islamic State and another UN-designated terrorist group, al-Nusra Front, in war-torn Syria.
Russia and the U.S. have been waging separate military campaigns in Syria that have sometimes been at odds, with Russia supporting Syria’s government and the U.S. aiding in an effort to overthrow that government.
However, both want to eliminate Islamic State, which has gained significant territory in Syria and Iraq in recent years.
Kerry, who is to arrive in Moscow around 6 p.m. local time, is expected to hold a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, on Friday, the U.S. embassy said.
The Kremlin said broadly that the officials were expected to discuss Syria, Ukraine and U.S.-Russian relations.
Relations sank to a post-Cold War low two years ago when Russia annexed neighbouring Ukraine’s southern Crimea region in response to Ukraine ousting its pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in what Moscow has described as a Western-orchestrated coup.
The U.S. has also been trying to get Moscow to end a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in Ukraine’s two eastern-most regions that erupted shortly after Yanukovych’s ouster.
The U.S. and Russia have imposed sanctions against each other over the conflict.