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Ceasefire in Syria called for by Sec. Kerry and Russia's Lavrov



by Joseph Earnest  January 13, 2014


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." Add Comments>>

Source: Press TV














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