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John Kerry On Syrian ceasefire

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The United States and Russia have announced a plan to bring about a ceasefire in Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

“Today we are announcing an arrangement that we think has the capability of sticking, but it’s dependent on people’s choices,”

Kerry said Friday in Geneva, Switzerland, appearing alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Kerry said the pact calls for the Syrian government and the opposition to respect a nationwide ceasefire scheduled to take effect at sundown Monday.

The Syrian regime announced its support of the ceasefire deal Saturday, according to the state-run al-Ikhbariya TV.

Kerry said the accord would prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s air force from flying combat missions anywhere the opposition is present, calling this provision the “bedrock of the agreement.”

He labeled the Syrian air force the “main driver of civilian casualties” and migrant flows.

“That should put an end to the barrel bombs, an end to the indiscriminate bombing of civilian neighborhoods,”

Kerry said.

In February, a cessation of hostilities negotiated between Kerry and Lavrov fell apart within weeks, and efforts to reach a political settlement in the war-torn country have been on the verge of collapse.

By: Ryan Browne and Elise Labott

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