Foreign ministers in Paris to discuss Syria ceasefire, aid efforts

Foreign ministers from France, Germany and Britain were meeting in Paris on Friday to take stock of the week-old ceasefire in Syria and international efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to besieged areas of the country.

"For France, [aid] is the real test of the implementation of the cessation of hostilities," French Foreign Ministry sources said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Britain's Philip Hammond will take part in the meeting, along with EU deputy foreign policy chief Helga Schmid.

The US-Russian brokered ceasefire went into effect last Saturday.

While it has been marred by breaches, UN Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura said Thursday that there has been a "visible" reduction in violence and that aid shipments had reached war-torn areas.

The aid effort and the cessation of hostilities are the product of a recent agreement between global and regional powers that are varyingly allied with the Syrian government and armed opposition.

UN-sponsored peace talks on Syria are scheduled to restart in Geneva on Wednesday after they were suspended last month amid a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive around the city of Aleppo that triggered an exodus of tens of thousands of civilians.

Separately, Ayrault was also due to meet US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Paris on Friday.

Last update: Fri, 04/03/2016 - 10:53
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