john kerry.jpg
Photograph: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to propose that their countries "synchronize" their operations in Syria against the terrorist group Islamic State, according to a report by The Washington Post.

The US wants to establish a "joint implementation group" with Russia to coordinate actions against Islamic State and another UN-designated terrorist group, al-Nusra Front, in war-torn Syria, the report said, citing a leaked US government document.

Russia and the US have been waging separate military campaigns in Syria that have sometimes been at odds, with Russia supporting Syria's government and the US aiding in an effort to overthrow that government. However, both want to eliminate Islamic State, which has gained significant territory in Syria and Iraq in recent years.

Kerry is arriving in Moscow around 6 pm local time (1500 GMT) and is expected to hold a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at noon on Friday, the US embassy told dpa.

The Kremlin said broadly that the officials were expected to discuss Syria, Ukraine and US-Russian relations.

Relations sank to a post-Cold War low two years ago when Russia annexed neighbouring Ukraine's southern Crimea region in response to Ukraine ousting its pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in what Moscow has described as a Western-orchestrated coup.

The US has also been trying to get Moscow to end a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in Ukraine's two eastern-most regions that erupted shortly after Yanukovych's ouster. The US and Russia have imposed sanctions against each other over the conflict.

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