Kerry joins international ministers to revive Syrian ceasefire

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Kerry joins international ministers to revive Syrian ceasefire 1

Ministers from 20 nations met in Vienna to try to stop the fighting in Syria and jump start peace talks for the country.

CCTV’s Malini Wilkes reports.

International negotiators want to revive a tenuous ceasefire, known as a “cessation of hostilities.”

The truce sharply reduced violence in March, but had disintegrated by the end of April. Peace talks in Geneva collapsed around that time.

Kerry joins international ministers to revive Syrian ceasefire

Kerry joins international ministers to revive Syrian ceasefire

"We pledged our support for transforming the cessation of hostilities into a comprehensive ceasefire, and we committed to use our influence to use the parties to the cessation in order to ensure compliance," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

“We pledged our support for transforming the cessation of hostilities into a comprehensive ceasefire, and we committed to use our influence to use the parties to the cessation in order to ensure compliance,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

But negotiators could not articulate specific penalties for non-compliance. The U.N. special envoy for Syria had no specific date to resume peace talks.

“We cannot wait too long, we want to keep the momentum. The exact date I’m not at the moment revealing it because it will depend also on other facts,” the U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said.

A key sticking point is the fate of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. The U.S. insists he must step down while Russia has opposed any settlement that includes his removal.

“(Kerry) in his opening statement said, as if it were something to be taken for granted, that Russia and Iran were supporting Assad, but we don’t support Assad, we support the fight against terrorism,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

What representatives did agree on is the critical need to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrians. If deliveries can’t get through by land airdrops will begin by June 1.