The US Secretary of State John Kerry ended a brief visit to Geneva yesterday during which he held several meetings and made telephone calls that focused on ways to reinstate the truce in Syria and include Aleppo in the ceasefire. Kerry met his Saudi and Jordanian counterparts Adel Al-Jubeir and Nasser Judeh, and then held a meeting with the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura who announced after their meeting that “We are preparing for a much better mechanism for monitoring and controlling a new ceasefire, reinvigorated. But we need political will for that.”
Kerry also had a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and “they agreed on new measures that Moscow and Washington will take as leaders of the group supporting Syria. One of these measures concerns preparations for the upcoming meeting” that the group will hold.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Council of Ministers led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz yesterday reiterated its condemnation and denunciation of the attacks waged by Bashar Al-Assad’s forces on the city of Aleppo. The attacks led to the destruction of a hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and killed dozens of people, including children and doctors. Saudi Arabia stressed that this terrorist act “shows the Syrian regime’s lack of seriousness in responding to the demands of the international community and impairs the cessation of hostilities agreement. This act is also against international laws and ethical principles of humanity. It seeks to pre-empt international efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis and to prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid to the fraternal Syrian people”.