U.S Secretary of State hails deal with Russia for Syria ceasefire

ABU DHABI, 22nd February 2016 (WAM) --- US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was gratified to see the final arrangements concluded today for a cessation of hostilities in Syria and called on all parties to accept and fully comply with its terms. He said this was "a moment of promise, but the fulfillment of that promise depends on actions."

If implemented and adhered to, this cessation will not only lead to a decline in violence, but also continue to expand the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian supplies to besieged areas and support a political transition to a government that is responsive to the desires of the Syrian people, Kerry said in a press release published by the Department of State on its official website.

The ceasefire is scheduled to go into effect at midnight on 27th February and will not include ISIL militants or those from Jabhat al-Nursa, the local branch of al-Qaeda.

"We are all aware of the significant challenges ahead," Mr. Kerry said. "Over the coming days, we will be working to secure commitments from key parties that they will abide by the terms of this cessation of hostilities and further develop modalities for monitoring and enforcement," Kerry said in a press release.

Kerry said today's agreement results from the committed diplomacy of many countries and groups.

He urged all parties to meet their commitments under this agreement, ensure full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and cease attacks on each other, including aerial bombardments. And all parties must remain committed over a period of time to make possible a political end to this conflict.

"As we move forward, we will remain vigilant to ensure that implementation achieves what we set out to do, which is to stop the violence and provide the space and the opportunity for a negotiated political transition, consistent with the Geneva Communique of 2012, that unites all Syrians who reject dictatorship and terrorism and want to build a new future for their country," Kerry said.


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