The United States and Russia have agreed to implement a nationwide cease-fire in Syria in one week while trying to address the humanitarian demands to civilians caught up in the conflict.
The cease-fire agreement was reached after intense, lengthy discussions by Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other world leaders at a Thursday gathering in Munich.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the agreement at a press conference alongside his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov and U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura.
We have agreed to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid beginning immediately
“We have agreed to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid beginning immediately. Sustained delivery will begin this week, first to the areas where it is most urgently needed… and then to all the people in need throughout the country, particularly in the besieged and hard to reach areas,” said John Kerry.
Sergei Lavrov reminded Syrian opposition on the need to allow for humanitarian access in their areas and also to meet their obligation in the upcoming Geneva talks.
“It has also been underscored the task to resume the negotiation process that was suspended against the backdrop when a part of the opposition took an unconstructive stance and tried to put preconditions,” he said.
“Talks should resume as soon as possible in strict compliance with resolution 2254, that is without any ultimatums, without any preconditions. And talks should include a wide range of opposition forces,” Lavrov added.
On the other hand, Russian foreign affairs minister told the press that they will not stop air attacks towards the hostile Islamic state and al Nusra which is affiliated to al Qaeda
The agreement still needs to be confirmed by the Assad’s government and the opposition, a process that could easily flop considering the number of opposition groups involved and the government’s recent gains on the battlefield.