Kerry hopes for end to Syrian hostilities 'in a day or two'

US Secretary of State meets with UN envoy, speaks to Lavrov

02 May, 16:09

    Kerry and de Mistura meet on the Syria crisis Kerry and de Mistura meet on the Syria crisis

    BEIRUT - The United States, Russia, other countries and the United Nations are "working intensely to end hostilities" in Syria, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. The hope is to find a solution "in a day or two", Kerry added after meeting UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Jordan in Geneva. "I also had a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov," Kerry said. De Mistura said he would meet with Lavrov in person in Moscow on Tuesday. De Mistura underscored that the parties involved were working to create an improved mechanism within the UN to apply the ''cessation of hostilities'', which has officially been in place since February 27 on the basis of an agreement between Russia and the US.
    The agreement, however, is ''barely alive'' - as De Mistura put it himself - mostly due to fighting in and bombing of Aleppo, where at least 250 civilians have been killed in the past 9 days and three hospitals in opposition areas have been targeted. De Mistura added that in order to achieve results there is a need for political will and not just a new mechanism. Kerry called on Russia and Iran to convince Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad to comply with the ceasefire and to let humanitarian aid convoys enter besieged areas. The US Secretary of State added that he and Saudi foreign minister Adel al Jubeir had agreed to put as much effort as possible into convincing opposition groups to return to negotiations as soon as the ''cessation of hostilities'' was applied and humanitarian aid access was granted.

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