Ceasefire in Syria called for by Secretary John Kerry and Russia’s Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov

Newscast Media PARIS—US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov have called for a ceasefire in Syria ahead of the Geneva II
conference aimed at resolving the Syria crisis.

“We talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a ceasefire, maybe a
localized ceasefire beginning with Aleppo (north of Syria),” Kerry said on Monday after
talks with Lavrov and UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in
Paris.

“What can be done before the beginning of the conference should be
done,” Lavrov said, adding, “We are going to try to send signals to all the
Syrian sides on the need for the establishment of a localized ceasefire.”
The top Russian diplomat also urged Iran’s participation in the talks. However, Kerry
said Tehran should first agree to the principles set out at the first Syria talks in
Geneva.

“Iran has yet to state whether or not it supports implementing the
Geneva 1 communiqué,” Kerry said, referring to the negotiations held in
June 2012, which demanded the creation of a transitional government
recognizing the Syrian opposition groups fighting the government forces
inside Syria.

Geneva I accord calls for the Syrian government and opposition to form a transitional
government while Washington says there will be “no role for the Syrian President
Bashar Al-Assad.”

Tehran has already stated that it will not accept any preconditions for its
participation in the upcoming Syrian talks scheduled to be held in Switzerland on
January 22.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday, “If we receive an
invitation without any preconditions, we will participate in the ‘Geneva 2′ peace
conference, but we won’t act in order to receive an invitation.”

Source: Press TV

http://newscastmedia.com/geneva-ii.htm