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U.S. says meeting for Syria cease-fire delayed, not canceled as Russia claims

U.S. says meeting for Syria cease-fire delayed, not canceled as Russia claims

 Hugh Naylor and Michael Birnbaum | The Washington Post

Russia and the United States appeared at odds Friday about whether a meeting of the international coordinating group charged with implementing a cease-fire in Syria had been canceled, with Russia's Foreign Ministry claiming it was, and the U.S. and U.N. officials saying it was merely delayed.

The back-and-forth Friday adds to delays in reducing hostilities and raises even more questions about the workability of the truce.

The coordinating group was due to convene in Geneva on Friday, but Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the meeting had been called off.

“There was no group meeting today,” she said. She did not elaborate on why Russia believed the meeting would not take place.

A U.S. official in Washington, however, speaking on condition of anonymity under government-imposed rules, said the meeting merely had “been delayed by a few hours, not canceled.”

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