Clinton faces first diplomatic test with Russian

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s first discussions with her Russian counterpart will test her diplomatic skills as well as the Obama administration’s hopes for a new direction in U.S. foreign policy.

Clinton’s planned meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday in Geneva is aimed at advancing an Obama administration effort to put U.S.-Russian relations on a more positive track by presenting Moscow with a package of proposals including accelerated arms control talks and an appeal for help in stopping Iran’s nuclear program.

The full scope of the U.S. approach to Russia has not been worked out, but the Geneva session is a chance to set the stage for improved relations on numerous fronts after years of friction and only modest diplomatic progress during the Bush administration.

By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer

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