Lavrov and Kerry agree to 48-hour extension of Syria truce


Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Wednesday agreed to a 48-hour extension for a truce in Syria that began Monday, the U.S. said.

The top diplomats agreed the seven-day cessation of hostilities that was brokered Friday is “worth extending” for an additional 48 hours “with the aim of achieving an indefinite extension to lower the violence,” according to State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

“There was agreement that as a whole, despite sporadic reports of violence, the arrangement is holding, and violence is significantly lower in comparison with previous days and weeks,” he said of a read-out of a telephone call between the two men.

Toner told reporters that fighters loyal to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces violated the truce and called on Moscow to use its influence with Assad to ensure access of humanitarian aid to besieged areas.

“We haven’t seen the humanitarian access yet so we’re still continuing to assess this, talking to the Russians,” he said. “We’re pressuring them to pressure the Assad regime,” he added.

Author: Kasim Ileri

Source: thepeninsulaqatar.com

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