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Russia and U.S. Fail to Reach Syria Ceasefire Agreement

Free Syrian Army fighters patrol in Jarablus, Syria. AP

Russia and the United States have failed to strike a deal over a cease-fire in Syria, the Reuters news agency reported Monday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met to discuss a truce in the war-torn country on Monday during the ongoing G20 summit in China. A senior state department official later told Reuters that a deal had not been reached, saying “there are still issues to resolve.”

Neither side has elaborated on details of the disagreement, or the meeting and its contents.

Cooperation between Russian and U.S. over Syria faces a number of hurdles, including disagreements on the fate of the Syrian leader Bashar Assad and the designation of different armed factions as “terrorist.”

The United States has previously accused Assad, a Kremlin ally, of violating the terms of a previous cease-fire brokered by Washington and Moscow in February.

Kerry has since said the United States will not simply accept any deal to see it collapse again, Reuters reported. U.S. President Barack Obama also said on Sunday that Washington would approach the talks “with some skepticism,” but acknowledged Russian cooperation as key in reducing violence.

“Our conversations with the Russians are key because, if it weren’t for them, Assad and the regime would not be able to sustain its offensive,” Obama said.

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