US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian Counterpart Sergei Lavrov have announced plans to attempt to broker an end to the 2-year-old civil war in Syria.

At a joint news conference in the Kremlin, said that they will push both the Syrian regime and rebels to hold an international peace conference based on the core elements of the final communique issued on 30 June 2012, after the UN-backed Action Group for Syria meeting in Geneva. 

Kerry had traveled to Moscow to find “common ground” on the Syria issue.  “We agreed that Russia and the United States will encourage both the Syria government and opposition groups to find a political solution,” Lavrov said.

Kerry said the war would grow more violent without a negotiated settlement. "The alternative is that Syria heads closer to an abyss, if not over the abyss, and into chaos,” said Kerry, adding, “The alternative is that the humanitarian crisis will grow.  The alternative is that there may be even a break up of Syria."

Russia backs the Bashar al-Assad regime, America backs the rebels.  Lavrov said Assad’s outster should not be a precursor to peace talks, but nor will insist he stay in power.