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Kerry expects Syrian to attend transition talks

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LARA JAKES | May 14, 2013 07:09 AM EST | AP

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STOCKHOLM — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is dismissing suggestions that the Syrian government might not join a U.S.-Russia initiative to negotiate a peaceful transition in Syria.

Syria's information minister says Damascus needs more details about the proposed initiative before it decides whether to attend. But Kerry says he expects Syrian officials to join the international effort and that the U.S. is aware that Syrian negotiators have been selected for the proposed conference.

Kerry made his comments during a trip to Sweden Tuesday. Washington and Moscow – which are on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict – called last week for an international conference to start talks that would be accompanied by a cease-fire in the two-year-old war.