UN Hopes for Aleppo Truce, US-Russia Talks Seek Wider Ceasefire

GENEVA — Talks between senior US and Russian officials on a broad ceasefire in Syria are likely to last into the weekend while fighting intensifies, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Thursday.

In a separate negotiation, there was still hope of agreeing a weekly 48-hour truce in the divided northern city of Aleppo to allow aid deliveries and medical evacuations, his humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said.

The two negotiations reflect a desperate diplomatic effort to bring some calm amid an escalation of the five-year conflict, in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria, as Russian, Turkish, Iranian, Saudi and US-backed forces turn up the heat.

Military, security and diplomatic officials from the United States and Russia resumed talks in Geneva on Wednesday to give a “renewed and solid momentum to the cessation of hostilities”, de Mistura told reporters in Geneva.

Their talks followed a marathon, ultimately unproductive meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week.


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