Rafael Nash | Friday, February 12, 2016
Five years of conflict have killed more than a quarter-million people, created Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II and allowed the Islamic State to carve out its own territory across parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq. They will continue their air strikes to force out ISIS and other militants in out of the country.
Lavrov said that his country would continue its military airstrikes in Syria. The latest advance over the past two weeks has seen government forces and allies rout rebels and come close to encircling Aleppo, a divided city half held by rebels for years.
The International Syria Support Group also agreed “to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid beginning immediately”.
Presenting the document, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was glad to announce that an agreement was reached in Munich and that progress was made to improve the daily lives of Syrians.
“The real test is whether or not all the parties honor those commitments and implement them”, he said.
“The Americans must consider- both the United States president and our Arab partners- whether or not they want a permanent war”.
Medvedev criticised Western powers’ refusal to collaborate with Russian Federation in Syria.
Germany’s defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said the deal “gave a spark of hope” but admitted it would only succeed if it was “fulfilled in the streets of Aleppo”.
Diplomats from the countries backing the talks will meet on Friday in Geneva to discuss the aid plan.
Kerry said that peace talks between Syrian rebels and the Assad government would eventually resume but that “What we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground”, according to AFP.
A United Nations task force, co-chaired by Russian Federation and the U.S., will work over the coming week “to develop the modalities for a long-term, comprehensive and durable cessation of violence”, Kerry said.
The main takeaway from the deal sealed by the foreign ministers from the International Syria Support Group is that more help will be delivered more quickly to besieged cities and regions in Syria. Yet neither Kerry nor Lavrov could say whether leaders of all the fractious rebel groups have agreed to go along, or how Assad’s government would comply.
Despite apparent concessions on potential timing of the truce and the agreement to set up the task force, the U.S., Russian Federation and others remain far apart on which groups should be eligible for it. The new task force will take up a job that was supposed to have been settled months ago. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the news conference that Moscow would not stop bombing, as the deal did not apply to Islamic State and to a rebel group called the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
Iran, Russia and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement are propping up the Alawite-led Assad government, while Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar back the more moderate Sunni-dominated opposition, along with the US, UK and France.
The marathon talks in Munich involved Russian Federation and more than a dozen other countries.
The second topic of discussions was dispatching humanitarian aid to all areas, with emphasis on food, medicine, and other humanitarian aids, he said.
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