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Sep 13, 2013 9:15 PM by Associated Press

Kerry, Lavrov to meet again tomorrow

GENEVA (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet again tomorrow in Geneva, as they lead an effort aimed at defusing the crisis in Syria.

Both diplomats made clear today that any prospects for re-starting peace negotiations will depend on first settling the standoff over the use of chemical weapons on civilians.

The U.S. has been seeking a U.N. resolution spelling out Bashar Assad's agreement to turn over those weapons, including consequences if he doesn't follow through.

But senior administration officials say Obama would be open to a resolution that does not include the threat of military force for failing to abide by the agreement.

The officials say Obama retains the authority to launch a strike, but Russia is expected to veto a resolution that includes a military trigger.

The officials also outlined for the first time a timetable for negotiations with Russia over Syria's chemical weapons. The officials say they'll know within a few weeks whether that effort has the necessary traction.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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