The sudden visit by the US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with King Salman at his ranch outside Riyadh can be seen as a swift follow-up on the phone conversation he held with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov the previous day. Evidently, Lavrov and Kerry are engaged in what increasingly seems a combined mutually reinforcing effort to flesh out a peace plan that finds acceptance with the external players who are aligned with them while also not entirely in sync with them as well as with the Syrian parties concerned. The brainpower could be Lavrov’s, but Moscow’s priority is to work with Washington to the extent the latter is willing – the common ground is steadily expanding – rather than indulge in one-upmanship.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.