The United States and Russia failed to agree on how to revive the crippling ceasefire in Syria on Thursday as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington cannot be the only one trying to hold open the door to peace and urged Russia and the Syrian government to do their part.
“If the Russians come back to us with constructive proposals we will listen,” Kerry said after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group on the sidelines of the annual United Nations gathering in New York.
“Make no mistake, the United States will continue to pursue every avenue of progress that we can because it is the only way to stop the killing, it is the only way to ease the suffering and it’s the only way to make possible the restoration of a united Syria,” added Kerry.
“We remain absolutely convinced there remains no such thing as a military solution. There can only be a political solution in order to actually get extremists and all of the parties to end the violence,” he finished.
The ceasefire, which took effect last week, has so far followed the path of all previous peace efforts: abandoned by the warring parties even as diplomats far away debated it.
Kerry demanded on Wednesday that Russia and the Syrian government immediately halt flights over Syrian battle zones, in what he called a last chance to salvage a collapsing ceasefire and find a way “out of the carnage”.