U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters today he was "frustrated" that the cease-fire inside Syria, brokered last week by Russia and the United States, had fallen apart but said he was "no less determined today than I was yesterday" to restore the cease-fire.
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While both sides continue to blame each other for violating the terms, Kerry said neither the U.S. nor Russia have come to an agreement about a way forward.
"We can't go out to the world and say we have an agreement when we don't," Kerry said at the Palace Hotel in New York City. "Nor do we tell our partners that there's a cessation [of hostilities] when there isn't."
Kerry accused Russia of disobeying the terms of the cease-fire agreement, adding that negotiations cannot go anywhere when the Russians are "denying the truth." Russia has accused the U.S. of bombing a humanitarian aid convoy in Syria from an unmanned drone, while the U.S. has said it holds Russia and its regime allies accountable.
In a conference call with reporters, a senior U.S. administration official described today's meeting as "contentious" and said it would take "extraordinary steps by the Russians and the regime" to get the cease-fire back on track.
Kerry said he will meet again tomorrow with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to keep working on options that would lead to a resumption of the cease-fire.
"The United States will continue to pursue every avenue of progress that we can, because it is the only way to stop the killing, it's the only way to ease the suffering, and its the only way to make possible the restoration of a united Syria," Kerry said. "If we do not succeed in doing this one way or the other, this catastrophic situation is going to get even worse."