US Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Zurich on Wednesday to try to settle US-Russian differences on the path forward towards peace in Syria.
After an initial awkward moment where the Russian flag was hung upside down, the pair talked on various issues surrounding their differences including the role of various parties both at the talks and in the transitional process, among other things.
The US and Russia do not agree on who is eligible to join UN talks, with each side accusing the other of nominating terrorist groups. It is not clear at this point whether or not the differences were resolved.
One point they did agree on, however, is the timeline regarding when the talks should begin. Both sides agree that delays in the talks help no-one and aim to begin the talks no later than the beginning of February.
Kerry stated that he had also called on Lavrov to use Russian influence with Al-Assad to ensure unrestricted access to humanitarian aid organizations trying to help civilians.
The UN has claimed that it can not proceed with sending out invitations to the talks until both sides come to an agreement on who should be included.