Kerry asks all in Syria to end violence, restore ceasefire

Geneva, May 2 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged all parties to the Syrian conflict to end violence and restore the cessation of hostilities during his second day of talks focusing on the Syria here.

“We’re getting closer to a place of understanding. But we have some work to do, and that’s why we’re here,” he told reporters after meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday morning in a Geneva hotel.

Kerry said there were a lot of conversations on how to separate Al Nusra from the opposition fighters and stop the fighting in Aleppo.

Speaking after meeting with the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, Kerry said that both the US and Russia have agreed there will be additional personnel stationed in Geneva around the clock to make sure there was more accountability and a better ability to enforce the cessation of hostilities on a day-to-day basis.

He added that both the Syrian government and the opposition have “contributed to this chaos”.

Kerry arrived in Geneva on Sunday for discussions with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in an urgent effort to reaffirm the cessation of hostilities across Syria and seek more support for a political transition.

In the previous talks with Judeh on Sunday, Kerry said that they both wanted to emphasise the seriousness of the situation with respect to the cessation of hostilities.

“The United Nations Security Council resolution calls for a full countrywide cessation and also for all of the country to be accessible for humanitarian assistance. Obviously, that has not happened and is not happening,” he noted.

Over the past several days the US Secretary of State also conveyed to the related sides, including main Syrian opposition’s General Coordinator for the High Negotiations Committee, Riyad Hijab, his deep concern about the deteriorating situation in Aleppo.

Kerry made clear that ending the violence in Aleppo and returning the situation ultimately to a durable, nationwide cessation is a “top priority”.

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