US, Russia propose ‘localised’ ceasefire in Syria

Paris, Jan 14: US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the possibility of a ceasefire in Syria ahead of peace talks in Switzerland later this month.

“We talked today about the possibility of trying to encourage a ceasefire (in Syria), maybe a localised ceasefire beginning with Aleppo,” Xinhua quoted the US top diplomat as saying after talks with Lavrov and UN-Arab League envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Paris.

On whether Iran should attend the Syria peace talks to be held in Montreux of Switzerland Jan 22, Kerry said only if Tehran agrees to principles set out in the first Syria peace conference held in Geneva in June 2012, including the creation of a transitional government in the country.

“Iran has yet to state whether or not it supports implementing the Geneva 1 communique,” he said.

For his part, Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s support for including Iran in the peace talks. “It’s quite clear Iran and Saudi Arabia should participate in this conference,” he said.