U.S., Russia and Jordan Reach Deal for Cease-Fire in Part of Syria
WASHINGTON – The United States, Russia and Jordan have agreed to promote a ceasefire in a limited area of southwestern Syria starting at noon on Sunday, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said Friday after the first face-to-face meeting Between President Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
The agreement was concluded after months of negotiations between the three countries. A senior State Department official who was involved in the talks said that important elements of the agreement remained marked in the coming days, including those to monitor and implement the pause in violence.
“I think this is our first indication that the US and Russia can work together in Syria,” M. Tillerson told reporters late Friday in Hamburg, Germany, after the two-hour appointment between Mr .
Trump and M. Poutine. “And as a result, we had a very long discussion on other parts of Syria that we can continue to work together to destabilize areas and violence once we are fighting ISIS and work together towards a political process to ensure a future for the Syrian people.”
The agreement is based on a line – as defined by the United States, Russia and Jordan – between the control zones of the belligerent forces and proxies of the state, said the head of the State Department. But banned factions – including Al Qaeda – could refuse to comply with the agreement and work actively to undermine even that, according to the official.
Moscow has assured the United States that the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Syria will respect the agreement, the official said.
The consent of the Damascus government came despite the fact that the US Continues to insist that neither M. Assad nor any member of his family plays a long-term role in running the country.
News of the agreement were first reported by The Associated Press.
The United States and Russia have agreed similar cease-fires last year, which quickly disintegrated. But Tillerson said there was no reason to believe that this latest attempt was not only valid, but could be a model for the ceasefire elsewhere in Syria.
He said that the defeat of the Islamic state was in sight, and the negotiators discuss what comes next. M. Tillerson also said the fatigue of the war – after six years of conflict – helped to speed up possible agreements.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov later said that the ceasefire would take effect Sunday at noon on Sunday in the regions of Daraa and Quneitra Sweida in Syria along the border with Jordan.
“Initially, security around this escalating area will be secured by the forces and means of the Russian Military Police, in coordination with the Americans and Jordanians,” he said.
However, the senior State Department official argues that the parties had not agreed to watch. The official said the cease-fire was at best a small step to end the conflict.
However, southwestern Syria has experienced much less violence than in other parts of the country during the war, so areas that cover the ceasefire is by no means the heart of the conflict.
M. Tillerson said that M. Trump and M. Poutine spent much of their more than two-hour meeting to discuss the Syrian conflict.
“And I would say, in general, our goals are exactly the same. How do we get there, everyone has a point of view,” Mr.
Said Tillerson. “But there’s a lot more in common with him than differences. So we want to build on the commonalities, and we spend a lot of time talking about the next steps.”
M. Tillerson acknowledged that the United States may not have all the answers.
“Maybe they have the right approach and we have the wrong approach,” he said in an extraordinary award, given earlier statements by M. Trump that Russia would have had prior knowledge of Syrian chemical attack on its own people.