- Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2015

VIENNA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Vienna for talks on ending the Syrian war with other key nations, including bitter regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Nearly 20 nations have signaled that they will attend but most attention is focused on the major players — the United States, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to land later Thursday.

Progress will be elusive. Backed by Washington, the Saudis want to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Iran and Moscow support him.

A first round last week did not include Iran. The talks formally begin Friday but Kerry is expected to meet some other participants later Thursday.

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