Kerry backs Russian bid for fresh Syria peace talks
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday backed Russia-led bid for fresh talks to bring about a peaceful resolution to the catastrophic Syrian crisis that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced nearly three-quarters of the war-torn country's population.
Geneva: US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday backed Russia-led bid for fresh talks to bring about a peaceful resolution to the catastrophic Syrian crisis that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced nearly three-quarters of the war-torn country's population.
Kerry, who is here for discussions with his Iranian counterpart to accelerate a deal on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme, voiced his backing for Russian efforts during his meeting with UN and Arab League envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.
"The United States is particularly concerned about the continued catastrophe that is unfolding in Syria where nearly three-quarters of the entire country are displaced people," Kerry said.
"Russian efforts could be helpful" for bringing about a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis which has entered its fourth year, he said.
Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been trying to re-start peace talks involving de Mistura. The plan involves meetings between representatives of the regime and the fractured opposition.
Russia is trying to arrive at a political solution bring together various interlocutors from Assad's government and opposition figures to stop the war.
De Mistura, who is heading to Damascus next week, said that his focus is on Aleppo first because it is "an iconic example of where things could start sending the best signal."
"It is time for the Assad regime to put their people first and to think about the consequences of their actions which are attracting more and more terrorists to Syria," Kerry said.
"So we hope that the Russian efforts could be helpful, we hope that the UN efforts led by Special Envoy de Mistura can have an effect," he said.
Thousands of people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.