Saudi Arabia: Cease-fire in Syria in 24 hours – possible

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said there was a possibility of reaching an agreement on a ceasefire in Syria within 24 hours. When asked regarding the failure of Washington and Moscow to formulate an agreement on a nation-wide cessation of hostilities, that would make it viable to establish a base for renewed negotiations on ending the war, Al-Jubeir said the Americans and Russians did not fail as they are still working to narrow the gaps that would ultimately provide a ceasefire.

“I wouldn’t describe it as a failure. I believe it is still a work in progress. There is a possibility of arriving at an understanding over the next 24 hours or so and then we will test the seriousness of Bashar al-Assad’s and his allies, in terms of a ceasefire like this,” said al-Jubeir.

Foreign Minister Jubeir, who represents a country that supports rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, went on to say that Assad’s history did not inspire optimism about the implementation of any agreement. A cessation of hostilities agreement brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in February unraveled within weeks, with Washington accusing Assad’s forces of violating the pact, while Moscow accusing US-backed rebel forces of joining the al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front in their ongoing battle against Assad’s rule.