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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, gives a pair of Idaho potatoes as a gift for Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the start of their meeting at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Paris, France, Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. Kerry is in Paris on a two-day meeting on Syria to rally international support for ending the three-year civil war in Syria. For some watchers of international diplomacy, the somber road to Syrian peace was overrun Monday by potatoes and furry pink hats.

AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais