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Obama: Hopeful about talks with Russia over Syria

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September 12, 2013 11:38 AM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he's hopeful Secretary of State John Kerry's meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Switzerland can "yield a concrete result" on Syria.

Kerry opened two days of meeting with his Russian counterpart in Geneva Thursday. The two hope to settle on the outlines of a plan to secure and destroy Syrian chemical weapons stockpiles.

Obama made his remarks at the beginning of a meeting with members of his Cabinet at the White House.

The U.S.-Russia talks offer a potential path to avoid U.S. strikes against the Syrian government for a chemical attack on civilians last month that the U.S. blames on Syrian President Bashar Assad.