August 27, 2015 - 11:58 AMT
U.S. special envoy to visit Moscow, Riyadh for talks on Syria crisis

The newly appointed U.S. special envoy for Syria will visit Moscow, Geneva, and Riyadh this week in an attempt to find a political solution to the four-year old Syrian conflict, officials said Wednesday, Aug 26, according to RFE/RL European service.

Michael Ratney will meet with Russian officials in Moscow Friday and Saudi officials in Riyadh Saturday, August 29, "to continue discussions about working towards a genuine political transition and bringing an end to the devastating crisis in Syria," an official said.

In Geneva, he will meet with the United Nation's special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, RFE/RL says.

Ratney, who has previously worked for the State Department in Jerusalem, Doha, and other cities in the Middle East, was appointed to his current post in July.

"The secretary wants to continue to explore options with the Russians and with Saudi Arabia on what those political options might look like," said State Department spokesman John Kirby.