Russia: International Meeting for Syria Cease-fire Canceled

Turkish artillery fire from the border near Kilis toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey on Monday. (Halit Onur Sandal/AP)
Turkish artillery fire from the border near Kilis toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey on Monday. (Halit Onur Sandal/AP)

A meeting of the international coordinating group charged with implementing a cease-fire in Syria was canceled Friday, Russia’s foreign ministry said, delaying any reduction of hostilities and raising further questions about the workability of the truce.

The coordinating group was due to convene in Geneva Friday but called off the meeting, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“There was no group meeting today,” she said. She did not elaborate on why the meeting did not take place.

The cancellation signals another setback for international efforts to broker an end to a civil war that has killed 250,000 people, displaced millions and turned into a dangerous proxy conflict for world powers.

However, U.S. and Russian military officials did hold an unannounced bilateral meeting Friday morning, the Reuters news agency reported from Geneva.

The bilateral meeting was aimed at narrowing positions between the two powers — an attempt for a joint view, Reuters reported. No other details on the bilateral meeting were given.

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SOURCE: Hugh Naylor and Michael Birnbaum 
The Washington Post