MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia is ready to support the Free Syrian Army with air strikes and cooperate closely with the United States in fighting militant groups in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday, the RIA Novosti agency reported.

He also said there needed to be parliamentary and presidential elections in Syria as part of any political settlement of the crisis and that he thought there was hope that progress could be made on a deal in the foreseeable future.