Washington and Moscow made key steps towards agreeing a new ceasefire in Syria, but a final deal has not been reached, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart said after talks Friday.
Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the comments after the marathon talks at a luxury hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva.
“Today I can say that we achieved clarity on the path forward” for a revamped cessation of hostilities, the top US diplomat said.
He added that the “vast majority” of technical obstacles to a ceasefire had been agreed but that some issues remained unresolved.
Lavrov echoed his American counterpart, telling reporters that “very important steps” had been made on a deal to stop the violence.
There had been hopes of a definitive announcement to stem the fighting in the war-ravaged country or on a new round of UN-brokered peace talks.
Kerry explained that US and Russian experts would continue to meet in Geneva in the coming days to pour over a set of unresolved issues in hopes of striking a durable deal.
He stressed though that “neither of us is (ready) to make an announcement that is predicated by failure — we don’t want to have a deal for the sake of a deal.”
A previous ceasefire agreed earlier this year has all but collapsed, and Kerry acknowledged that “violations (of the deal) eventually became the norm rather than the exception.”
Moscow and Washington support opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, which erupted in March 2011.
Russia is one of the Syrian government’s most important international backers while the US supports the terrorist groups across the country.