U.S., Russia achieve clarity on truce in Syria, details to be finalized


GENEVA,  (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told press on Friday that talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had made much headway, with minor details remaining to be addressed in view of brokering a new cessation of hostilities for war-torn Syria.

“Today I can say that we achieved clarity on the path forward,” Kerry told press late Friday evening.

“We have completed the vast majority of those technical discussions which were primarily focused on making this cessation of hostilities real, and improving the level of humanitarian assistance, thereby getting the parties to the table so we can have a serious negotiation about how to end this war,” he added.

Lavrov confirmed that the long day of meetings in a luxurious hotel in Geneva had enabled both delegations to make progress.

“We still need to finalize minor issues, that is why our experts will continue in Geneva next week,” he said.

These face-to-face discussions followed Kerry’s meeting with Lavrov in Moscow last month, a meeting the Russian side described as “very useful” on Friday.

Lavrov also reminded that that dialogue is key to build trust and reduce areas of misunderstanding between both nations.

In light of the dire situation on the ground and protracted fighting between warring factions, Washington and Moscow were seeking to replicate efforts earlier this year that saw a historic cessation of hostilities take place in the country.

This yielded tangible progress for the Syrian people well into March, and had given unprecedented momentum to intra-Syrian talks seeking to broker a political end to the five-year conflict.

“We’re here because neither of us is satisfied with what has happened with respect to the cessation of hostilities,” Kerry said.

“We may have different views about some of the causes of the problems, but the fact is we both are committed to trying to find a way to get the cessation of hostilities to be more effective and to be fully implemented. That is what brought us here,” he added.

| Editor: huaxia