US suspends negotiations with Russia over Syria ceasefire

Washington, Oct 4 (IANS) The US was suspending negotiations with Russia on restoring a ceasefire in Syria, the country State Department said on Monday.

“This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement, accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments on the ceasefire agreement on Syria.

Kirby said that Russia “was also either unwilling or unable to ensure Syrian regime adherence to the arrangements to which Moscow agreed”.

“Rather, Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course, inconsistent with the Cessation of Hostilities, as demonstrated by their intensified attacks against civilian areas, targeting of critical infrastructure such as hospitals and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching civilians in need, including through the September 19 attack on a humanitarian aid convoy,” the State Department spokesperson added.

He said that the US would also withdraw personnel that had been dispatched in anticipation of the possible establishment of the Joint Implementation Centre.

“To ensure the safety of our respective military personnel and enable the fight against Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, the US will continue to utilise the channel of communications established with Russia to de-conflict counterterrorism operations in Syria,” Kirby noted.

On September 10, Russia and the US announced a landmark agreement on a nationwide ceasefire in Syria, which both sides hoped would lead to their countries’ military cooperation to end more than five years of bloodshed there, Xinhua reported.

However, cross-fire resumed in the first hours after the week-long truce deal expired on Sept. 19, with both parties trading accusations of failures to implement the deal.



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