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U.S., Russia agree to try and keep Syria cease-fire in place

20 de septiembre de 2016 17:52
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New York – The United States and Russia on Tuesday agreed to try and maintain the cease-fire in Syria despite the fact that Damascus announced its end and a humanitarian convoy was bombed on Monday.

Top foreign affairs officials of the two countries met in New York along with other members of the International Syria Support Group to analyze the recent events in the wartorn Arab country.

At the meeting it was agreed - "despite continued violence" - that it is necessary to "pursue a nationwide cessation of hostilities based on the arrangement reached last week in Geneva between the United States and Russia," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

The officials, who are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, agreed to meet again later this week to discuss the next steps to take.

According to Kirby, Secretary of State John Kerry at the meeting condemned the bombardments undertaken on Monday that "killed aid workers attempting to deliver food, water and medicine to besieged areas of Aleppo."

"He and the other ministers expressed their condolences for the loss of innocent life and reaffirmed the absolute necessity of establishing immediately the unimpeded, safe and sustained flow of access for humanitarian supplies," Kirby added.

The U.N. on Tuesday announced the suspension of its operations to delivery humanitarian assistance after the attack on a convoy that killed 20 civilians.

Speaking before world leaders, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the "apparently deliberate" attack in Syria and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to account.

The United States has blamed Russia and/or the Syrian government for the attack - which occurred on the same day that Damascus declared the seven-day cease-fire negotiated by Washington and Moscow to be at an end - although those two countries have denied those accusations.

At the ISSG meeting, officials also discussed the importance of continuing to pressure the Islamic State and the Levant Conquest Front, formerly known as the Al-Nusra Front, terrorist groups.

According to the State Department, the participants acknowledged the difficulties in separating Al-Nusra from the moderate opposition in some parts of Syria.

In that context, as Kirby said, the officials emphasized the need to end indiscriminate aerial bombardments and create the necessary conditions in the coming weeks for resuming peace talks headed by the U.N.


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