12 September 201619:30

Press release on Results of Russian-US consultations on reaching a settlement in Syria

1589-12-09-2016

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The package of Russian-US agreements reached during consultations held since February will come into effect on September 12. These agreements are designed to ramp up the coordinated campaign against terrorism in Syria, strengthen the cessation of hostilities agreement, and help resolve humanitarian challenges, thereby creating the conditions to launch an inclusive political process in Syria.

Beginning 7 pm Damascus time, all sides participating in the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria will stop fighting and will observe the terms of the agreement.

From that moment on, with the assistance of the UN, humanitarian aid convoys will be escorted to Aleppo along the northern Castello Road. Over time, this road will be made safe for civil and commercial traffic. The southern road to Aleppo through Ramus will also be open for humanitarian access in accordance with the rules underlying the cessation of hostilities.

The truce should first last 48 hours, and then be extended for five more days. After that, the Joint Executive Centre will begin its practical activities, and the Russian and US military will coordinate attacks on Jabhat al-Nusra (Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), ISIS and other terrorists in the approved areas, where operations involving Syrian aircraft will be suspended. In this way, the terrorists will be divided off from armed opposition groups participating in the cessation of hostilities.

Moscow welcomes the Syrian government’s public confirmation of its approval of the Russian-US agreements and its willingness to abide by them.

However, there remains serious concern with the reaction of some of the armed Syrian opposition groups, the largest of which, Ahrar al-Sham, said it refuses to follow the Russian-US agreements or to break with their comrades in arms from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. In this connection, it is appropriate to point out that, in spite of our persistent appeals, the United States still does not agree with placing Ahrar al-Sham on the UN list of designated terrorist groups.

With regard to the political opposition, the High Negotiations Committee, which is recognised by the West, said it will comply with the Russian-US agreements reached in Geneva, if the United States provides guarantees that the Syrian government complies with them as well. We hope that the United States will do its part and exert the necessary influence on those it considers "moderate" opposition in Syria in order to ensure full compliance with the conditions underlying the cessation of hostilities and achieve practical implementation of the Russian-US agreements.

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