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Kerry hopes to develop cooperation plan with Russia on Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday that he hopes to announce the details of a US plan on closer military cooperation and shared intelligence information with Russia on Syria, beginning in August.

Kerry, who made his remarks after a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of a meeting for Southeast Asian countries in Laos, said progress had been made in the past few days regarding the plan.

The proposals would have the two powers share intelligence to coordinate airstrikes against the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front and prohibit the Syrian air force from attacking "moderate" opposition groups.

Kerry defended his proposal, despite the deep scepticism expressed by senior military commanders and US intelligence officers.

"My hope is that somewhere in early August we would be in a position to stand up in front of you and tell you what we're able to do with the hopes it can make a difference to lives of people in Syria and to the course of the war," Kerry said.

During the discussions, he and Lavrov outlined the next stage of implementing the plan, including a series of technical-level meetings to address concerns by the US military and intelligence officers.

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