After a long day of talks hosted by the United States and Russia, members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) have also agreed to scale up the delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria.
Speaking to reporters early Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a cessation of hostilities across Syria will be carried out within a week so as to reduce violence and allow delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged civilians.
He added that details of the truce, including ways to monitor and verify it, have yet to be worked out. The participants also called for an early resumption of the Geneva peace talks.
The objective, Kerry said, is to achieve a durable long-term cease-fire in Syria at some point in time, which, however, depends on future negotiations.
The diplomats have agreed to immediately accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas in Syria. A working group is to start meeting in Geneva to oversee this issue.
Representatives from 17 countries and international organizations, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, gathered here on Thursday, hoping to restart the Syrian peace talks.
Earlier this month, UN-mediated Geneva negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups within Syria were suspended until Feb. 25.
Kerry acknowledged that the Munich meeting produced commitments on paper only. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed that the real test would be whether all parties to the Syrian conflict honor those commitments.
Kerry called on representatives of the Syrian government and opposition in the country to continue their talks in Geneva as soon as possible.
Lavrov, in a joint news conference with Kerry, said that it would be a “complicated task” to finally achieve a cease-fire in Syria.
According to the agreement reached by ISSG members, the cease-fire in Syria will not apply to groups designated as terrorists.
Lavrov told reporters that his country’s air force will continue its airstrikes against targets of the Islamic State and Al-Nusra as the agreement permits. Enditem