More pressure will be applied on the two sides of the Syrian conflict to accelerate a solution, it was agreed at the four-hour meeting US Secretary of State John Kerry held in Moscow Friday with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. They agreed to set August as the dealine for an accord. Russia is committed to promoting a political transition in Syria, said Lavrov, but it must be based on mutual consent. At the same time, he agreed that the pressure on all sides “must be increased.”

DEBKAfile:  The two powers in effect agreed on a deadline five months hence for Bashar Assad to start handing over power to a coalition made up of members of his regime and Syrian opposition parties.