Kerry to chair Syria Security Council meeting on Friday

Kerry to chair Syria Security Council meeting on Friday
2 min read
17 December, 2015
US Secretary of State John Kerry is to chair a UN Security Council meeting to push for a Syrian ceasefire and direct talks, according to Washington's State Department.
Kerry will try to secure the Security Council's blessing for Vienna Plan [Anadolu]
US Secretary of State John Kerry is to chair a UN Security Council meeting on Syria on Friday, according to the US State Department.

The meeting aims to "reinforce efforts to accelerate an end to the conflict, including necessary formal negotiations between representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition", said State Department spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday.

Kerry was in Moscow this week to hold talks with Russian officials, who have been staunch supporters of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, to pave the way for the Friday meeting.

The US Secretary of State will also host a meeting of the International Syria Support Group on Friday ahead of the Security Council meeting.

The countries involved in the Vienna talks, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, will be invited to the International Syria Support Group meeting, according to the State Department spokesman.

That meeting aims to define the notion of a transition and a ceasefire, and to brief participants about the outcome of the Syrian opposition conference held in Riyadh last week.

Friday's meetings come amid accelerated diplomatic efforts to secure a UN Security Council resolution endorsing a proposed ceasefire in Syria and direct talks between the Assad regime and the opposition.

The Syrian conflict, which started after a brutal regime crackdown on peaceful protests in 2011, has resulted in the death of more than 250,000 Syrians and the displacement of millions.