Secretary Kerry's Meeting With UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 19, 2016

The following is attributable to Spokesperson John Kirby:

Secretary Kerry met today in London with UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to discuss the situation in Syria and ongoing efforts to achieve a political solution to the conflict there.

The Secretary thanked Special Envoy de Mistura for his leadership and briefed him on the concrete steps discussed between the United States and Russia last week which are aimed at better securing a nationwide cessation of hostilities, improving the delivery of humanitarian assistance, fighting terrorism, and creating the necessary conditions for political talks to resume.

The Secretary and the Special Envoy agreed that the status quo in Syria was unsustainable and expressed their expectation that these renewed efforts, if fully implemented, would make a significant difference in reducing the violence and restoring momentum to the peace process endorsed by the ISSG and the UN, in keeping with UNSCR 2254.

The Secretary made clear that it is vital for Moscow to use its considerable influence with the Asad regime to halt regime attacks on opposition groups and innocent civilians, in clear violation of the cessation of hostilities. He also emphasized the critical need to end all attempts to besiege Aleppo city as well as other besieged towns in Syria and ensure full humanitarian access there.

The two promised to remain in close touch as US and Russian teams prepare to meet to further discuss the modalities of implementing the steps developed in Moscow.