After Year of Policy Aimed at Ousting Assad, Kerry Claims U.S. 'Not Looking for Syrian Regime Change'

Secretary of State John Kerry pressed ahead on Tuesday in the effort to organize a new round of talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war that could also align the United States and Russia more closely in strategies for fighting the Islamic State.

After an extended trip to Paris for climate talks, Mr. Kerry met for nearly four hours on Tuesday evening with President Vladimir V. Putin in the Kremlin, in talks intended to smooth differences over a planned round of Syria negotiations scheduled to take place in New York on Friday.

The United States and Russia have long been at odds over Syria, with Russia standing firmly by President Bashar al-Assad and the United States backing the rebels seeking his ouster. A previous attempt to broker a solution to the conflict failed, and it remains unclear whether the two sides will reach a compromise this time.

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