Friday, February 12, 2016

Peace Plan for Syria

Let us hope this works.

MUNICH — Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, announced that they had agreed on the delivery over the next few days of desperately needed aid to besieged Syrian cities, to be followed by a “cessation of hostilities” within a week on the way to a more formal cease-fire.

“We have agreed to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities in one week’s time,” Mr. Kerry said early Friday morning, after all-day meetings. “That is ambitious.”

“The real test is whether all the parties honor those commitments,” he said, sitting next to Mr. Lavrov, the two men doing their best to appear cooperative after weeks of trading accusations over the accelerated Russian air campaign that has given new support to the government of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

If executed, the agreement, forged by the International Syria Support Group, would mark the first sustained and formally declared halt to fighting in Syria since the civil war began in 2011, early in the Arab uprisings. But even a formal cease-fire would be partial — it excludes the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and the Nusra Front, both designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations — and highly fragile.

Give peace a chance.