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Lavrov, Kerry meet presses for Syrian ceasefire
January 13, 2014, 2:21 pm

The Russian and US foreign ministers were meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria, to discuss preparations for the upcoming Syria peace talks due to be held in Switzerland on January 22 [AP]

The Russian and US foreign ministers were meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria, to discuss preparations for the upcoming Syria peace talks due to be held in Switzerland on January 22 [AP]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry called for a partial ceasefire in Syria on Monday.

The two met in Paris on Monday and called for an increase in the flow of international aid to the war-torn nation.

“We talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a ceasefire. Maybe a localized ceasefire in Aleppo,” said Kerry.

The Russian and US foreign ministers were meeting with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria, to discuss preparations for the upcoming Syria peace talks due to be held in Switzerland on January 22.

Russia also reiterated its stand on Tehran attending the talks in Geneva.

“[The] presence of Saudi Arabia, Iran [are] necessary at Geneva-2 talks on Syria, it’s obvious for Russia… We’ve called for the National Coalition to work with other oppositional groups: the delegation should be truly representative,” said Lavrov.

Lavrov also said that Damascus is considering opening a prisoner exchange ahead of the Geneva peace conference that would bring together the opposition and the Syrian leadership for the first time.

Lavrov said the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria was “above all disrupted by insurgents. They have killed 32 international aid workers so far.”

Russia’s top diplomat said the Syrian government would guarantee the safety of an upcoming humanitarian aid convoy being sent to a Palestinian refugee camp.

“A few days ago an attempted delivery was made, but it was disrupted by militants who blocked the path of the humanitarian convoy,” Lavrov said, adding that Syria is prepared to discuss cooperation with the Red Cross.

The Russian Foreign Minister also said that stopping “terrorists” fighting in Syria should be high on the agenda when the international peace conference opens next week.

“At Geneva II, the government and its opponents must agree to join efforts in fighting the terrorists that have invaded Syria. Unless this is resolved, Geneva II will not succeed. We are pleased to see the government and the opposition are well aware of this,” said Lavrov.

The meeting had been delayed for months amid disagreements over whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should play any future role in Syria, dissension within the Syrian opposition and disputes on whether Iran should take part in the talks.

 

TBP and Agencies

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