Ministers agree to 'accelerate' humanitarian aid in Syria: Kerry
Iran Press TV
Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:18AM
US Secretary of State John Kerry says ministers meeting for Syria crisis talks in Germany have agreed to "accelerate and expand" humanitarian aid to the conflict-hit country.
Kerry made the remarks at the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting early on Friday in the German city of Munich where the working group of 17 countries began a new round of Syria peace talks on Thursday focusing on calls for a ceasefire and access for humanitarian aid.
'We have agreed to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid beginning immediately,' Kerry said.
'Sustained delivery will begin this week, first to the areas where it is most urgently needed... and then to all the people in need throughout the country, particularly in the besieged and hard to reach areas,' he added.
He stated the United States and Russia have agreed to implement nationwide cessation of hostilities in Syria, added that all members of the International Syria Support Group agree that talks in Geneva should resume "as soon as possible."
A diplomatic source said earlier that Washington and Moscow agreed to a plan aimed at breaking the deadlock in Syria by gradually ceasing hostilities and quickly resuming humanitarian aid with a view to creating conditions to revive peace talks.
'We did not get a deal on the immediate end of Russian bombings, but we have a commitment to a process that if it works would change the situation,' a Western diplomatic source said.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since 2011, which has claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people so far, according to the United Nations.
But the Syrian Center for Policy Research recently reported that 400,000 Syrians have been killed since the beginning of the crisis. Another 70,000 people have perished due to the lack of adequate health services, food, clean water, sanitation and proper housing, especially for those displaced within conflict zones, the report added.
Since September 2014, the US and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes purportedly against Daesh inside Syria without getting approval from the Syrian government.
Meanwhile, Russia has also been conducting airstrikes on the positions of Daesh and other militant groups in Syria since September 30, 2015 but based on a request by the government in Damascus.
The Syrian army's fight against terrorists took a new turn after Russia started launching airstrikes against the Takfiri terrorists.
Specter of world war
Earlier in the day, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev raised the specter of a world war if nations failed to negotiate an end to the five-year-old conflict in Syria, and called on the US, Saudi Arabia and their allies not to deploy ground troops there.
Medvedev made the remarks in an interview with the German Handelsblatt business daily, due to be published on Friday.
He said all powers must sit at the negotiating table to forge an end to the conflict gripping Syria 'instead of unleashing a new world war."
'The Americans and our Arabic partners must think hard about this: do they want a permanent war?' Medvedev asked.
The Russian prime minister also noted that it would be impossible to win such a war quickly, particularly in the Arab world, "where everybody is fighting against everybody."
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