29-02-2024 12:28 AM Jerusalem Timing

Kerry, Lavrov to Meet Sunday in Rome

Kerry, Lavrov to Meet Sunday in Rome

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Rome on Sunday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Rome on Sunday.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Saturday that "an agreement has been reached on a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Sunday," cited by Interfax.Kerry and Lavrov

The Russian foreign ministry also confirmed the meeting on its Twitter feed.

Ryabkov said that "the main focus at their 17th meeting this year would be on the Middle East."

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday that the pair would discuss the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, as well as the crises in Ukraine and in Syria.

The announcement came a day after US lawmakers defied President Barack Obama and approved fresh economic sanctions against Russia, over the current crisis in Ukraine.

The legislation also authorizes -- but does not legally require -- Obama to provide $350 million worth of lethal and non-lethal military aid to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, ammunition and "tactical troop-operated surveillance drones."

Ryabkov said he expected Lavrov to raise the US bill with Kerry in Rome.

"We see the passing by both houses the above legislative act as yet another demonstration of anti-Russian moods and attempts to dictate decisions to us that for us are categorically unacceptable," Ryabkov said.