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US suspends talks with Russia over Syria ceasefire

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council began drafting a new resolution?Monday to try and get?the US and Russia to agree to a temporary truce in Aleppo.?In photo: US state department spokesman John Kirby. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Washington Oct 04, 2016, 02.25 AM (IST)

 

The United States has suspended bilateral talks with Russia on renewing the ceasefire deal in Syria, the US state department said on Monday. 

US state department spokesman John Kirby said, "The United States is suspending its participation in bilateral channels with Russia that were established to sustain the Cessation of Hostilities."

The US blames Russia for failing to comply with the ceasefire agreement, so that aid could be provided to Syrians trapped in the besieged city of Aleppo. 

"Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments - including its obligations under international humanitarian law and UNSCR 2254 - and was also either unwilling or unable to ensure Syrian regime adherence to the arrangements to which Moscow agreed," Kirby told reporters during the daily news briefing. 

"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," he added. 

President Bashar al-Assad's forces and his allies have been aggressively attacking Aleppo since last week, bombing hospitals and water pumps. 

The US's decision comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended a treaty on cleaning up weapons-grade plutonium, Reuters reported. 

However, a senior state department official denied Putin's decision had anything to do with the suspension of the ceasefire deal. 

Kirby assured that channels of communication with Russia will continue to be used to ensure the armies of both countries are safe and to allow them to fight the Islamic State group. 

"The US will also withdraw personnel that had been dispatched in anticipation of the possible establishment of the Joint Implementation Centre," Reuters quoted Kirby as saying. 

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council began drafting a resolution Monday to try and get the US and Russia to agree to a temporary truce in Aleppo. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)


 

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