Arab Gulf leaders have held talks with Russia’s foreign minister in Moscow as part of renewed efforts to stop the war in Syria.

Thursday’s meeting between Sergey Lavrov and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers comes as rebels in northern Syria continue to make slow progress in their campaign to evict the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) armed group from its stronghold in the city of Raqqa.

Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow, said Syria is expected to dominate the meeting.

However, there are “still very big differences” between the two sides – which are meeting for the fourth time – on the issue of Syria, he said.