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In Paris this Monday, the U.S., Russian and Syrian ambassadors and foreign ministers conducted peace talks that are attempting to settle at least a partial cease-fire in the civil war between Syria’s government and the Syrian National Coalition. Attending this conference were Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U. S. Secretary of Defense John Kerry.
The Associated Press reports that the peace talks this Monday have begun to settle the conflict between these two sides, including an exchange of refugees and partial cease-fire.
Reuters notes that both the Syrian government and the Syrian National Coalition have agreed to provide humanitarian access to those trapped across battle lines.
However, the Associated Press doubts that any cease-fire can work, even a partial cease-fire, considering that the number of casualties and refugees has escalated to 130,000 deaths and 6 million refugees.
Lavrov and Kerry expressed their confidence that a cease-fire can be possible. “We're going to do everything in our power to initiate a process,” said Lavrov. “This is not going to be a one-time event.”
Kerry added that he and Lavrov have been brainstorming for ways that the cease-fire could work. “And both of us have agreed to try to work to see if that could be achieved,” he said.
The U.N. has invited Syria to the peace conference in Switzerland this Jan. 22.
Lavrov and Kerry have proposed that the U.N. also invite Syria’s ally Iran to the conference, although the U.N. has declined such a proposal based on Iran’s lack of commitments to uphold the agreements from the previous conference.