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International relations

Blinken and Lavrov stress dialogue despite 'serious differences'

Meeting marks first US-Russia high-level, in-person talks under Biden

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrive for a meeting at the Harpa Concert Hall, on the sidelines of the Arctic Council Ministerial summit, in Reykjavik, Iceland.   © Reuters

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) -- Top diplomats from the Biden administration and Russia in their first in-person meeting on Wednesday stressed that the former Cold War foes have serious differences in how they view world affairs but struck an optimistic tone for the talks, saying the two sides can still find ways to work together.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in his first meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a veteran diplomat, said it was "no secret that we have our differences" and that Washington would respond to aggressive acts by Russia, but that the world would be safer if the two countries' leaders worked together.

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