John Kerry suggests Syria is within days of ceasefire

US secretary of state John Kerry said yesterday that a “provisional agreement” has been reached on a ceasefire that could begin in the next few days in Syria’s five-year civil war.

Kerry said he spoke in the morning with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss terms of a ceasefire and the two now must reach out to the parties in the conflict.

He declined to go into the details of the agreement, saying it “is not yet done.”

But he said he hoped US president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin would talk soon and that after that, implementation could begin.

“The modalities for a cessation of hostilities are now being completed,” Kerry said.

“In fact, we are closer to a ceasefire today than we have been. A cessation of hostilities... is possible over the course of these next hours.”

The Russian foreign ministry seemed to stop short of Kerry’s announcement.

The ministry said Lavrov and Kerry spoke on the phone for a second day in a row and discussed “the modality and conditions” for a ceasefire in Syria that would exclude groups that the UN Security Council considers terrorist organisations.

In Syria yesterday, a pair of explosions ripped through the city of Homs, killing at least 57 people, including 28 civilians, and wounding dozens, according to activists and Syrian state TV.


Lifestyle

In January of 1994, RTÉ reporter Tommie Gorman was given a diagnosis that would change his life.Examine Yourself: Getting cancer made sense of everything for Tommie Gorman

In aid of Cancer Awareness Week, we convinced four of our columnists to bare all for our Examine Yourself campaign.Examine Yourself: Baring all for Cancer Awareness Week

It was an effervescent and often moving turn by an artist with a meaningful claim to the title of world’s most interesting pop star.Ariana Grande's opening night at 3Arena in Dublin proved why she is the world's most interesting pop star

Marian Duggan was in her 20s and could not imagine that her symptoms could be so serious, not even when a tennis-ball-size cyst was removed from her left ovary, says Helen O’Callaghan.Examine Yourself: 'I thought I was too young to have cancer'

More From The Irish Examiner