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‘Provisional agreement’ on terms of Syria truce: Kerry

Amman / AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that a provisional agreement had been reached with Russia on the terms of a ceasefire in Syria.
Kerry told reporters in the Jordanian capital Amman that he had spoken with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov again on Sunday on the terms of a ceasefire agreed by world powers earlier this month.
“We have reached a provisional agreement, in principle, on the terms of the cessation of hostilities that could begin in the coming days,” Kerry said.
“It is not yet done and I anticipate that our presidents, President (Barack) Obama and President (Vladimir) Putin, may well speak somewhere in the next days or so in order to try to complete this task,” Kerry told a press conference with Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh.
Hopes for ceasefire, which had been due to take hold on Friday, had floundered as fresh violence shook Syria last week.
But Kerry was optimistic that it could still be implemented, noting that UN-backed aid deliveries had reached besieged Syrians last week.
“We are in fact making progress even as a I stand here today. There is aid now getting through, the modalities for a cessation of hostilities are now being completed,” he said. “We are closer to a ceasefire today than we have been.”
Noting that a US-led coalition had carried out more than 10,000 air strikes against the IS group in Syria and Iraq, Kerry said: “We are determined that we will win this fight.”
Kerry highlighted coalition member Jordan’s contribution, saying the country would receive $1.6 billion in US assistance “that will enhance border security, create economic growth and create jobs for Jordanian people.”

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