Scrambling to resuscitate a nearly dead truce in Syria, the Obama administration has again been forced to turn to Russia for help, with little hope for the desired U.S. outcome.
At stake are thousands of lives and the fate of a feeble peace process essential to the fight against the Islamic State group, and Secretary of State John Kerry has appealed once more to his Russian counterpart for assistance in containing and reducing the violence, particularly around city of Aleppo.
“We are talking directly to the Russians, even now,” Kerry said on his arrival in Geneva as he began talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. “The hope is we can make some progress, but the U.N. Security Council Resolution calls for a full country, countrywide, cessation and also for all of the country to be accessible to humanitarian assistance. Obviously that hasn’t happened and isn’t happening.”
Kerry spoke at length on Friday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to that end, and had been hoping to meet with Lavrov soon, according to U.S. officials.
In Geneva, Kerry met with Judeh and was to meet U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday before returning to Washington.