Kerry says Syria talks should go ahead on time -U.S. pool reporter

by Reuters
Saturday, 12 March 2016 07:27 GMT

HAFR AL-BATIN, Saudi Arabia, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday Washington believes that U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Geneva should go ahead on Monday and that violence had been reduced by 80 to 90 percent, according to a U.S. pool reporter accompanying Kerry.

Speaking after breakfast with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Kerry said Russian and American monitors were to meet in Amman and Geneva on Saturday to discuss "perceived" ceasefire violations by the Syrian government, and that he planned to request a call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

"The level of violence by all accounts has been reduced by 80 to 90 percent, which is very, very significant. And what we want to do is continue to work to reduce these," Kerry said.

"But we've made it very very clear that the Assad regime cannot use this process as a way to exploit the situation, when others are trying in good faith to abide by it. And there is a limit to the patience with respect to that." (Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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