US, Russia discuss Syria ahead of Geneva talks
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- The top U.S. and Russian diplomats have held talks on Syria ahead of an international conference on Saturday that aims to ease Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met for about an hour Friday in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
Lavrov told reporters afterward that the two "are agreeing on most things."
The former Cold War foes have clashed repeatedly since violence broke out in Syria 16 months ago.
The U.S. wants Assad to leave power. Russia opposes any "external meddling" in Syrian affairs.
The U.S., Russia and other world powers are gathering in Geneva on Saturday. U.N. mediator Kofi Annan wants them to agree on a plan calling for a national unity government in Syria.