Dec 7, 5:40 AM EST

A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry says U.S. Secretary State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are to meet for talks later on Wednesday


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MOSCOW (AP) -- A spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry says U.S. Secretary State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are meeting for talks later in the day.

Maria Zakharova said at a news conference Wednesday that Lavrov will travel later in the day to meet Kerry in Hamburg, a day earlier than expected.

Kerry said Tuesday that he hopes to convince Syria's warring factions and their backers to return to the negotiating table before the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo is destroyed.

Russia is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Lavrov complained on Tuesday that talks with Washington are not working and that the rebels would be wiped out if they don't leave eastern Aleppo.

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