G7 call for Syrian cease-fire to be observed

Final statement calls for humanitarian access to civilians in need

G7 call for Syrian cease-fire to be observed

World Bulletin / News Desk

The G7 meeting of the world’s most industrialized countries on Tuesday called for Russia, Iran and Turkey to ensure that a Syrian cease-fire declared at the end of last year is observed.

In a statement released at the end of the two-day meeting in the Tuscan city of Lucca, G7 foreign ministers said the three states should “live up to their commitments and… use their influence on the parties to observe and ensure full compliance with the cease-fire”.

A cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey came into force on Dec. 29 but has been characterized by repeated breaches, including last Tuesday’s chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed more than 100 civilians, including women and children.

Turkey said Tuesday that traces of sarin had been found in some survivors being treated in Turkish hospitals.

The attack prompted a U.S. missile strike on the air base thought to have been used to launch the attack.

Ministers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Italy, France, Germany and Japan called for all parties “in particular the regime and its backers, including Russia and Iran, to allow sustainable, unhindered and adequate humanitarian assistance to all people in need.”

They added: “We express our grave concern at the constant violations of the cease-fire, committed primarily by the Syrian regime and its allies. Despite the Syrian regime’s claims, this activity does not target primarily UN-designated terrorist groups.”

Russia has condemned the U.S. strikes, describing them as an “act of aggression”.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday.

Earlier, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said the ministers had failed to agree on a British proposal for sanctions against Russia in the wake of the chemical attack. Moscow should not be “pushed into a corner” over the issue, Alfano said, according to the ANSA news agency.

The 30-page communique also condemned North Korean nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, which “clearly violate its international obligations and pose an increasing threat to regional and international security, peace and the global non-proliferation regime.”

On Tuesday, Hwang Pyong-so, the North’s military chief, said it was ready to “mount a pre-emptive nuclear attack” on South Korea and the U.S.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Nisan 2017, 02:53