Kerry says Russians must stop airstrikes in Syria

Published February 4th, 2016 - 06:04 GMT
Destruction caused by Russian airstrikes in Syria. (AFP/File)
Destruction caused by Russian airstrikes in Syria. (AFP/File)

Speaking to reporters before attending a Syria humanitarian effort conference on Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Russia for the collapse of the UN-sponsored peace talks and said they must end their bombing campaign in the embattled country, according to AFP

 Kerry stood beside Britain's Foreign Minister Phillip Hammond as he read aloud sections of UN Security Council resolution 2254, passed in December, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

"Russia has a responsibility, as do all parties, to live up to it," he said afterwards.

Kerry then stated that had what he called a “robust” discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Thursday morning.

"I had a conversation this morning with Foreign Minister Lavrov. We discussed, and he agreed that we need to discuss, how to implement the ceasefire and also how to get (humanitarian) access by both parties," Kerry told reporters Thursday.

Kerry continued by saying that all parties involved in the conflict must allow humanitarian aid into the besieged areas of the conflict.

"Foreign Minister Lavrov and I will talk again today or tomorrow as we further this process and find the way forward to be able to implement this resolution fully."

Russia responded by saying that the two diplomats both agreed to bring humanitarian aid to the affected areas by air.

Both Russia and the US are part of the contact group the Syrian International support group and worked together to get all involved in the conflict to the negotiating table in Geneva.

However, Russia supports Assad and continues its daily airstrikes on the opposition, which is supported by the US and Saudi Arabia, causing distrust among the members and has failed to get all sides to take the UN-backed negotiations seriously.

"Staffan de Mistura has temporarily interrupted the talks in order to try to resolve some of the issues regarding the next steps," Kerry explained.

AFP also stated that the British Foreign Prime Minister added to Kerry’s remarks by saying, “We recognize that it's difficult for the regime to be at the table, talking to the opposition, and it's difficult for the opposition to talk to the regime when their people at home are being killed."



© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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