Kerry hopes E. Ghouta 48-hr ceasefire extends, int'l talks on Syria within 2 weeks

WASHINGTON, May 4 (KUNA) — US State Secretary John Kerry said on Wednesday he hopes that Eastern Ghouta’s ceasefire is extended beyond the 48 hours agreed, and expects world parties involved in the Syria crisis to meet within two weeks.
“We are testing this (Eastern Ghouta ceasefire) very carefully on a specifically-timed basis,” he said ahead of US-EU Energy Council talks with EU officials, including EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Also, the US and Russia have agreed that there “will be additional personnel who already are together on the ground, working in Geneva, who will try to strengthen our ability in order to be able to enforce these mechanisms.” He added that the US is also in close contact with its European partners in order to “solidify this (agreement).” Kerry said the US hopes that the 17-member country International Syria Support Group (ISSG) will meet “somewhere within the next two weeks in order to help accelerate and facilitate the process.” He also expressed hope that the just-announced Cessation of Hostilities deal, which extended to Aleppo but does not include all of Syria, would pave the way for the resumption of talks and return of “confidence” between the Syrian regime and opposition.
“Most importantly, we need to get to the discussion that every party agreed to regarding the Geneva communique of 2012 – on the need to have a transitioning governed body in Syria that can begin to provide security to the people,” he said.
Kerry reiterated that international humanitarian deliveries, including food and medical supplies, “must be allowed” to pass through to affected areas, and accused the Syrian regime of “consciously and unacceptably” blocking their entry. (pickup previous) sd.gb

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