Kerry discusses concern for Aleppo with UN Envoy in advance of Geneva meeting

WASHINGTON, May 1 (KUNA) — In advance of his trip to Geneva tomorrow to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry held several phone calls over the past two days with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan De Mistura and Syrian opposition’s General Coordinator for the High Negotiation Committee Riyad Hijab.
In the calls, Kerry expressed “deep concern” about the deteriorating situation in Aleppo “where the Assad regime continue to escalate the conflict by predominantly targeting innocent civilians,” a State Department release said. “Such attacks are direct violations of the cessation and must stop immediately.” Kerry indicated that ending the violence in Aleppo would be a “top priority” and noted that the US is “working on specific initiatives to de-escalate the increased fighting and defuse tensions.” The Secretary also “made clear” that the US has urged Russia to “stop regime violations, especially its indiscriminate aerial attacks in Aleppo.” Finally, Kerry pledged to continue working with the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) to restore the cessation of hostilities and end the obstruction of delivery of humanitarian aid, all of which he plans to continue to discuss in Geneva over the next two days. (end)

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