US-Russian talks in Switzerland fail to reach a truce in Syria

(From L-R), Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, speak together around a table during a bilateral meeting where they discussed the crisis in Syria, in Lausanne, Switzerland, October 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Jean-Christophe Bott/Pool
(From L-R), Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, speak together around a table during a bilateral meeting where they discussed the crisis in Syria, in Lausanne, Switzerland, October 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Christophe Bott/Pool

Talks in Switzerland on the crisis in Syria have ended with no apparent breakthrough.

The Lausanne meeting only included regional powers with influence on battlefield outcomes in Syria, alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

Despite the lack of a breakthrough, Kerry said the parties reached a consensus on a “broad agreement” on a number of important points, specifically a “desired outcome on ending conflict,” in his remarks to the press.

The US State Department said that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan were among the regional powers represented.

Lavrov had previously said he had no special expectations for an outcome, while Kerry emphasized the need for an end to the fighting in Aleppo and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

International outcry has mounted over the plight of some quarter of a million civilians trapped in the Syrian city of Aleppo as the Syrian military, backed by Russian warplanes, pounds its streets into rubble.

The talks were only the latest in a long series that have, so far at least, done little to alleviate the suffering of those caught up in Syria’s civil war of 5½ years.

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