Lavrov: Syria ceasefire must be salvaged

Russian Foreign Minister tell UN that agreements aimed at ending the war in Syria must be salvaged.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the United Nations on Friday that United States-Russian agreements aimed at ending the war in Syria must be salvaged as fighting raged on the ground.

Quoted by AFP, Lavrov said there was "no alternative" to the Russian and U.S.-led peace process and insisted that "now it is essential to prevent a disruption of these agreements."

The foreign minister addressed the General Assembly after holding talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on reviving a ceasefire in Syria that was shattered this week.

The Syrian army declared an end to the truce on Monday following a U.S.-led coalition strike on Syrian soldiers near Deir Ezzor that Washington said was unintentional, and then proceeded to begin attacking rebel-held areas of the city of Aleppo.

The U.S.-Russian ceasefire deal was further endangered by an attack on an aid convoy in Aleppo province on Monday which left 20 dead and destroyed 18 trucks.

The Russian foreign minister called for an "unbiased, impartial investigation of the incidents in Deir Ezzor and Aleppo that undermine these agreements."

The United States has concluded that Russia attacked the aid convoy, but Moscow denies the allegations.

The Syrian crisis will not be resolved unless the United States and its allies rein in opposition rebels fighting alongside the Islamic State group and the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, Lavrov said.

"We will not be able to improve the humanitarian situation without the rooting out of the terrorist groups," he warned, according to AFP.

From the UN podium, Lavrov asserted that Russia's military intervention helped "prevent the collapse of statehood and disintegration of Syria" that would have plunged the Middle East further in chaos.

Kerry told reporters earlier that there had been "a little bit of progress" during talks on the effort to put the ceasefire back on track.

Discussions have focused on an American proposal to ground Syrian and Russian planes over designated areas, which Kerry said would restore "credibility" to the ceasefire plan.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)