US will not abandon peace process in Syria: Kerry

Brussels, Oct 4 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that the United States would not be abandoning the Syrian peace process despite the break in talks with Russia.

Washington announced a suspension in talks with Russia just hours before Kerry’s speech at a Brussels conference celebrating US-European Union relations, Efe news reported.

The US remained committed to a cessation of violence throughout the whole country, Kerry said, adding that this would only be possible with the grounding of Russian and Syrian warplanes in certain areas.

He said that in order to return to the negotiation table, Russia would have to meet international law and fulfil publicly made agreements.

Further, the Secretary of State accused Russia and Syria of being the only actors in the Syrian war who had yet to agree to the delivery of international aid into besieged areas of the country.

Tensions flared between the US and Russia in September when Washington heaped responsibility onto Moscow for an alleged airstrike on a humanitarian aid convoy en route to embattled areas of Aleppo.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is allied to his beleaguered Syrian counterpart Bashar Al Assad and provides aerial support for the Syrian Army operations to regain control of rebel-territory, Efe news added.

Kerry lambasted the military cooperation between Moscow and Damascus and accused the Russian leader of association with a “man who has been responsible for torturing 10,000 people (…) as well as orchestrating this extraordinary slaughter of his own people”.

Both Washington and Moscow maintain tactical communications to facilitate military operations against various jihadist groups.

Since the end of the internationally brokered ceasefire in September, violent clashes have escalated across Syria, claiming the lives of hundreds of people, including civilians.

Security and human rights departments within the UN have called upon the international community to address the fallout of the heightened aggression but have had to face increasingly frosty diplomatic ties between Russia and the United States.

–IANS

lok/bg

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