Baku. 20 February. REPORT.AZ/ World powers agreed early Friday on a cease-fire in Syria in one week’s time, giving Russia a chance to help the Assad regime press an offensive that has expanded the Kremlin’s clout in the region, Report informs citing the foreign media.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said agreement was also reached to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid in Syria immediately.
He spoke at a news conference after more than five hours of talks with Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other countries, a meeting that aimed to halt a recent onslaught that has created tens of thousands of new refugees.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a working group chaired by the U.S. and Russia would work out the details of the cease-fire within one week.
The diplomatic push has been complicated by the successes of the pro-regime offensive, backed by Russian air power, which Arab, Israeli and U.S. officials say has vital U.S. allies taking sharply different positions at a crucial moment.
A U.S. official said earlier that Russia had offered to stop some of its bombing in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces by March 1. In response, the U.S. called for an immediate cease-fire, arguing that Russia would use the extra time to extend territorial gains for the regime and decimate U.S.-backed opposition forces.
The U.S. official said the Americans also told the Russians a cease-fire must be accompanied by full and sustained humanitarian access to besieged areas, where hundreds of thousands of people are caught in the fighting.