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Diplomats agree Syrian ceasefire, says John Kerry

Kerry said that the target is to implement the ceasefire in a week's time [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 February, 2016

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US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that diplomats meeting in Munich have agreed on a Syrian ceasefire that is projected to start within a week.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said diplomats meeting in Munich have agreed to work with Syrian parties to implement a "nationwide cessation of hostilities" early on Friday.

Kerry said that the target is to implement the ceasefire in a week's time. He said that would not apply to the Islamic State group (IS) and the extremist al-Nusra Front.

Kerry said diplomats from the US, Russia and other powers also agreed to "accelerate and expand" the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, bringing aid to besieged areas.

A working group is to start meeting in Geneva Immediately to oversee the agreement.

Salem al-Meslet, spokesman for the High Negotiating Commission (HNC) cautiously welcomed the announcement.

"We welcome the efforts our friends making to bring relief to the Syrian people - and it must be all Syrians. We must see action on the ground and if we see action and implementation we will see you soon in Geneva," said al-Meslet.

Kerry's announcement comes as Syrian regime troops and allied militias backed by Russian airstrikes advanced on the northern city of Aleppo, causing a mass exodus of residents.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has meanwhile estimated thatat least 500 people have been killed since the offensive on Aleppo began.

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