WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has directed his national security team to renew diplomatic efforts to reduce the bloodshed in Syria and end the civil war.

The president convened his National Security Council on Friday to discuss next steps, after having recently cut off diplomatic talks with Russia when a Syrian cease-fire failed.

The White House says in a statement that while bilateral talks with Russia had been suspended, discussions with key nations are needed to “encourage all sides to support a more durable and sustainable diminution of violence.”

Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Switzerland for a new round of negotiations on the Syrian situation. Among those Kerry will meet with is the foreign minister of Russia.