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Multilateral Syria talks end, no agreement reached

Talks between foreign ministers from the United States, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iraq came to a close Saturday evening without any of the delegations suggesting that a breakthrough had been reached on how to tackle the Syrian crisis.

Together with high-level diplomats from key regional partners, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov convened in the Swiss city of Lausanne for more than four hours in a bid to resolve the long-standing civil war which has been raging since 2011.

A number of bilateral meetings between officials reportedly took place before discussions, which also included the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, kicked off in mid-afternoon.

This multilateral framework is seen as a different approach to solving the war pitching forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebel factions seeking to oust him.

The U.S. mission to UN at Geneva said that the purpose for Kerry's Swiss trip this time was to meet with foreign ministers from key regional partners to discuss a multilateral approach to resolving the crisis in Syria, including a sustained cessation of violence and the resumption of humanitarian aid.

Taking place in a luxurious lakeside hotel, the high-level discussions also come against the backdrop of failed bilateral efforts between the United States and Russia.

A short-lived ceasefire was brokered last month by Kerry and Lavrov after lengthy talks in Geneva.

The idea was to emulate a similar truce brokered in February this year which enabled critical relief operations to reach civilians in need.

Coming into effect on Sept. 12, last month's cessation of hostilities, which lasted barely a week, was integral to a broader agreement between both powers, and was meant to enable aid to reach those trapped in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.

September's agreement was furthermore hoped to catalyse enhanced military cooperation between both countries and renew momentum towards resuming talks seeking to end the crisis which has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.

Washington suspended negotiations with Russia on restoring a ceasefire in Syria on Oct. 3 after blaming Moscow for its alleged military role in attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo, dealing a severe blow to efforts seeking to rekindle UN-mediated intra-Syrian talks which have been on hold since April.

These talks, which are guided by UN Security Council resolutions, are seen by many as the only way to end the conflict.

Kerry is scheduled to meet with more international partners in London on Sunday to further discuss a multilateral approach to resolve the Syrian conflict.

[Source: Xinhua, Lausanne, 15Oct16]

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Syria War
small logoThis document has been published on 19Oct16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.