OBAMA, MAJOR WESTERN LEADERS URGE FOR FAITHFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF SYRIA CEASEFIRE DEAL

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama and his counterparts in France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Tuesday urged all parties in Syria to implement faithfully the just-concluded ceasefire agreement and bring lasting peace to the war-torn country.

Obama discussed the deal via video conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the White House said in a statement.

They also discussed the ongoing refugee and migration crisis Europe faces, which was caused by years of the devastating civil war in Syria.

“The leaders welcomed the prospect of a cessation of hostilities in Syria as outlined by the understanding reached in Munich on February 11, called on all parties to implement it faithfully, and reaffirmed their commitment to a political transition in Syria that will bring lasting peace and legitimate governance to the Syrian people,” the statement said.

The US and Russia on Monday announced a plan for a cessation of hostilities in Syria starting Saturday, which the UN described as “a signal of hope” for an end to the nearly five-year-old conflict.

The cessation of hostilities was largely envisaged in Munich during a meeting of the International Syrian Support Group (ISSG), which comprises the Arab League, the European Union, the United Nations, and 17 countries including China.

The US and Russia said any party engaged in conflicts in Syria will indicate to them their commitment to the ceasefire agreement by no later than 1200 (Damascus time) Saturday.

At the video conference, the four leaders also “underscored the importance of an immediate halt to the indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations,” the White House said.

Obama also discussed with his counterparts steps to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Syria, the importance of the NATO mission and coordination between Greece and Turkey to manage the flow of migrants into Europe. PNA/Xinhua/northboundasia.com