• US, Russia strike deal on ‘concrete steps’ to save Syria ceasefire


    MOSCOW: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said Friday they had agreed on “concrete steps” to salvage a failing truce and tackle jihadist groups in Syria but refrained from laying out their deal. The top diplomats emerged from 12-hour marathon talks saying they agreed on the way forward, but Kerry stressed that the details of the deal would not be made public to allow the “quiet business” of peacemaking to continue. The United States was touting a proposal for closer US-Russian military cooperation in Syria against Al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters, but Russia has been cool to the idea. In exchange, Moscow would be required to pressure its ally Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to ground his own jets and end attacks on civilians and the moderate opposition.



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