US and Russia Agree Ceasefire in Syria Should Start on Monday

Time: 9:06 a.m. CEST

Secretary Kerry Addresses Reporters With Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov After Their Meeting in Geneva
Secretary Kerry addresses reporters with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov after their meeting in Geneva. (Courtesy of: State Department photo)

The newest plan on the national ceasefire in Syria, which   should start on Monday, could reduce the violence in Syria and move the country toward political solution to the more than five years of the civil war in the country.

The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry and Russia’s Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov made progress early Saturday by announcing outcome of a day-long talks in Geneva, Switzerland on Syria. The breakthrough agreement that Kerry said could be a “turning point,” plans to introduce nationwide cease-fire, a week later new military cooperation to target Islamic State and al-Qaida, and new limits on President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Kerry said the cease-fire would begin at sundown September 12, which coincides with the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. “Today the United States and Russia are announcing a plan which we hope will reduce violence, ease suffering and resume movement toward a negotiated peace and a political transition in Syria,” Kerry said. “It has the ability to stick, provided the regime and the opposition both meet their obligations, which we — and we expect other supporting countries — will strongly encourage them to do,” he added.

Kerry’s negotiating partner, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, confirmed the agreement and said it could help expand the counterterrorism fight and aid deliveries to Syrian civilians under U.N. auspices that have been stalled for weeks. He said Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government was informed of the accord, and prepared to comply.

“The United States is going the extra mile here because we believe that Russia, and my colleague, have the capability to press the Assad regime to stop this conflict and to come to the table and make peace,” Kerry said, citing a number of recent meetings with Lavrov.

“This is just the beginning of our new relations,” Lavrov said.

The agreement is a result of the long-lasting diplomatic talks, which included four meetings between Kerry and Lavrov since the end of August, and a face-to-face meeting between President Barack Obama and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.



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