MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday “hailed” the ceasefire in Syria and discussed ways of supporting it through cooperation between their armies, Russia’s foreign ministry said.
In a phone call, they welcomed “the implementation of the ceasefire in Syria,” the ministry said in a statement.
“They also discussed the outlook for resuming the peace negotiation process in the framework of the International Syria Support Group,” it said.
The two pointed to the “particular importance” of working together as co-presidents as the support group, the foreign ministry communique said.
Lavrov and Kerry also discussed “ways for ensuring it [the ceasefire] is fully upheld, including enhancing military cooperation between Russia and the United States,” the statement said.
The Russian military earlier said its warplanes had suspended all sorties over Syria on Saturday to avoid any “bombing mistakes” and the US and Russia militaries also exchanged maps of Syria.
The ceasefire, brokered by Washington and midnight, took effect at midnight local time (2200 GMT Friday).
It is the first major truce in a five-year war that has claimed 270,000 lives and displaced more than half of Syria’s population.
The agreement called for the cessation of hostilities from 2200 GMT Friday between Russian-backed Bashar Assad’s forces and opposition groups.
The deal does not however include the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front jihadists, who are allied to al-Qaeda.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has said peace talks — suspended since February 3 amid a regime offensive in the Damascus region backed by Russian air power — will resume on March 7 if the ceasefire prevails and more aid is delivered.
- Israel & the Region
- Syria ceasefire
- Syrian civil war
- John Kerry
- Sergey Lavrov
- US-Russia relations
- al-Nusra Front
- coalition against Islamic State
- Assad regime
- Bashar Assad
- Syrian rebels
- Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
- Syrian opposition
- Syria peace plan
- International Syria Support Group
- Islamic State