America lacks the world stature and diplomatic acumen to negotiate a cease fire in Syria right now. This is another task that will be left for the next president.
NEW YORK (AP) — The United States and Russia ended any pretenses Thursday of their cease-fire for Syria remaining in force after days of increased violence and the Syrian military’s announcement of a new offensive in Aleppo.
“We can’t go out to the world and say we have an agreement when we don’t,” Secretary of State John Kerry said after meeting the top diplomats from Russia and more than a dozen European and Middle Eastern countries.
Kerry’s statement, after three days of private and public diplomacy on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, provided an ominous endnote to a week diplomats had hoped would be a major capstone toward peace.
Instead, Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who negotiated the truce two weeks ago, went their separate ways as violence in Syria flared up anew and the relationship between the two key foreign powers in the conflict appeared to reach a new low.
No one spoke of being able to quickly resuscitate the cease-fire. While Kerry and Lavrov were set to hold more talks Friday, even confidence-building measures seemed beyond their reach at this point.
The war has killed as many as a half-million people, contributed to Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II and allowed the Islamic State group to emerge as a global terror threat.