An expert-level U.S. delegation has left for Moscow to begin a fourth round of discussions on inter-country adoption.

During the bilateral talks, scheduled for July 21-23, the delegation will pursue an agreement that provides greater safeguards for children and families in the adoption process between the two countries, the State Department said.

Noting that the U.S. looks forward to building on the progress achieved during the last round of discussions, held in June in Washington, the State Department said working with Russian officials, the delegation will review the latest draft of the adoption agreement, making every effort to ensure that it addresses the legal and policy concerns of both countries.

The U.S. team is headed by Mary Ellen Hickey, Managing Director of the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, and includes representatives from US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State Department's Legal Adviser's Office and Bureaus of Consular and European Affairs.

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