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Kerry: new ideas discussed at Syria meeting

US Secretary of State John Kerry (C-L) stands next to Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (back L) at the end of Syria peace talks in Lausanne, on October 15, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)

Lausanne (AFP) - The United States, Russia and Syria's neighbours discussed new ideas for reviving a ceasefire in the war-torn country at talks Saturday in Switzerland, Washington's top diplomat said.

Secretary of State John Kerry said lower level officials would be in contact again as early as Monday to flesh out a new agenda, but refused to reveal details of the initiatives.

Kerry described the meeting as a "brainstorming" session and that despite tensions between the parties had not descended into rancour, with all agreeing on the urgency of the crisis.

"I would characterise this as exactly what we wanted," he told reporters at the Lausanne hotel where he met Russian, Iranian, Saudi, Turkish, Egyptian, Jordanian, Iraqi and Qatari envoys.

Kerry welcomed what he said was "a very candid, first time discussion, as open and free-wheeling as this, with all of the key parties at the table simultaneously."

"There were some difficult moments, where there was obviously tension, but everybody was constructive, he said, of a meeting that included traditional foes Tehran and Riyadh," he said.

After the Lausanne meeting, Kerry was to fly on to London on Sunday to brief his European allies on the new diplomatic path, which will focus on a smaller number of main players.