Munich / AFP
Russia said on Thursday it was ready to discuss a ceasefire in Syria as foreign ministers gathered in Munich in a bid to kick-start peace talks derailed by the regime onslaught on the besieged city of Aleppo.
Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled to the Turkish border as government forces, backed by Russian bombers and Iranian fighters, bombard the northern city, leaving the opposition there virtually surrounded.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov said Moscow was “ready to discuss the modalities of a ceasefire” and that peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition rebels could “possibly start earlier” than the proposed date of February 25.
The first round of talks in Geneva collapsed earlier this month over the bombardment of Aleppo, where observers say at least 500 people have been killed since the Russian-backed regime offensive began on February 1.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov will host foreign ministers from the 17-nation Syria contact group in Munich, for a meeting billed as a moment of truth for the floundering peace process.