Sputnik – As top diplomats from Russia and the US are set to meet again on Friday for further Syria ceasefire talks, experts analyze the prospects of a cessation of hostilities in the country and what a bilateral agreement between Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry might entail
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry intend to meet again on Friday to discuss a cessation of hostilities in Syria.
Following the second meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Sergei Lavrov noted that its major outcome is that the sides have agreed to continue working on ceasefire in Syria. Russia’s top diplomat however noted that the armed opposition must reciprocate Syrian government peace efforts and not let terrorists benefit from the stalled ceasefire.
“Some of our partners made attempts to force the Syrian government to undertake unilateral steps. We insist, and are being supported in this, that the opposition should make reciprocate steps,” Sergei Lavrov told journalists after the meeting.
“They should do it to prevent ISIS (Daesh) and Al-Nusra to exploit lack of ceasefire in Syria. I think we have such common understanding but the details are still needed to be worked out,” he added.
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State also made a statement after the meeting where he claimed that he and his team “have exchanged ideas with the Russians and plan to consult on Friday with respect to those ideas.”
The Washington’s foreign policy on Syria seems to look like “if the Russians come back to us with constructive proposals, we will listen.”
“If Russia demonstrates that it is serious, we will work with the opposition to reciprocate and to pull back from this cycle of escalation, because the opposition also has a responsibility to observe the cessation of hostilities if the government does and to disassociate from al-Nusra.”
In his statement however John Kerry attempted once again to push for what amounts to a ‘no-fly zone’ – the grounding of all Russian and Syrian aircraft.
“The only way to achieve that [cessation of hostilities and violence] is if the ones who have the air power in this part of the conflict simply stop using it – not for one day or two, but for as long as possible so that everyone can see that they are serious.”