Brende: – Could be the beginning of an armistice

Foreign Minister Børge BrendeForeign Minister Børge Brende.Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix
It is good that the parties in Syria have agreed on what may be the beginning of a truce, said Mr Brende. He is especially happy with the possibility of humanitarian aid.
Early Friday morning  several leading politicians, including US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, confirmed that the countries have agreed that fighting between government forces and rebel groups must be stopped.
It remains to be seen whether the parties can live up to the consensus, says Brende to the news agency NTB.
– Our interpretation is that there is agreement on a ceasefire and that it could lead to something more. All of this is very fragile. This is the worst humanitarian situation in recent times, so much is at stake, he said.
The Foreign Minister stressed that previous agreements have not led to significant changes on the ground in Syria.
Brende describes the fact that Russia has made massive airstrikes against Aleppo in recent weeks as “complicating things greatly”.
– It is important that Russia now sends a signal that they are willing to end the bombing, he said.
However, it is not possible to rule out that the situation will get worse in the week before the agreement enters into force, says Brende.
– We’ve seen it in connection with agreements of this kind before, that the conflict actually escalates  before an armistice. But that is what Syria needs least of all now, said the Foreign Minister.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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