World leaders renew their call for cessation of hostilities in Syria
May 18, Vienna: Leaders from different countries have renewed their calls for a cessation of hostilities in Syria after meeting in Vienna. They are hoping to restart peace talks aimed at halting Syria's civil war.
The meeting in the Austrian capital on Tuesday was led by John Kerry, US secretary of state; Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister; and Staffan de Mistura, UN special envoy to Syria, as well as other leaders from the 17-nation International Syria Support Group (ISSG).
They confirmed their support for an end to the violence and the need for immediate humanitarian access to besieged communities inside Syria, reports said.
While the parties involved did not set a date for the next round of peace talks, Kerry said the gathering in Vienna was a step in the right direction.
He said,"All the parties ... have agreed on a basic framework which is a united, non-sectarian Syria that is able to choose its future through a transitional governing body."
US officials travelling with Kerry said that the US still insists that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should go as part of a "framework for political transition" with an August 1 deadline.
The Oslo Times