Europe

Lavrov meets with UN special envoy on Syria in Geneva

Concrete blocks are positioned in front of the hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, ahead of a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry on the conflict in Syria, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

Concrete blocks are positioned in front of the hotel President Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland, ahead of a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry on the conflict in Syria, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Russia's foreign minister has arrived in Geneva and briefly met with the U.N. special envoy on Syria.

Sergey Lavrov held about a one-hour meeting with U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura at a lakefront hotel in Geneva on Thursday night.

The meeting came before expected talks between Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Swiss city later this week, according to Russian officials.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has been conducting airstrikes to bolster his forces for nearly a year. The U.S. supports rebels fighting to overthrow Assad and has called on him to step down.