Kerry Says ‘Getting Closer’ to an Understanding on Syria Ceasefire

GENEVA (Reuters) -
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) gestures next to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R.) gestures next to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a meeting on Syria in Geneva, Switzerland Monday. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday talks with Russia and coalition partners were “getting closer to a place of understanding” on renewing a ceasefire in Syria, including around the city of Aleppo.

“We’re getting closer to a place of understanding, but we have some work to do, and that’s why we’re here,” Kerry said at the start of a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Geneva.

Jubeir condemned the escalation of fighting as a “violation of all humanitarian laws,” blaming the air strikes in Aleppo on government forces and called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. “He can leave through a political process, which we hope he will do, or he will be removed by force,” Jubeir said.