Kerry, Iran's Zarif discuss Syria, Yemen crises

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the crises in Syria and Yemen with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, on Saturday, the State Department said.

Kerry’s spokesman said the two officials met for the first time since Iran signed a final nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers in Vienna in July.

Kerry and Zarif discussed the implementation of the nuclear deal, the spokesman said.

“The Secretary also raised our concerns over the ongoing crises in Yemen and Syria,” he said. Kerry also “conveyed the urgency of seeing our detained and missing U.S. citizens come home to be reunited with their families.”

Ahead of the meeting, Kerry didn’t say whether he would discuss Syria with Zarif. However, he said he saw the coming days during the United Nations General Assembly as a key moment to press a diplomatic solution to the region’s conflicts.

“I view this week as a major opportunity for any number of countries to play an important role in trying to resolve some of the very difficult issues (of) the Middle East,” Mr. Kerry said.

“We need to achieve peace and a way forward in Syria, in Yemen, in the region itself (and) I think there are opportunities this week, through these discussions, to make some progress,” he said.

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