The United States indicated Sunday it was close to a deal with Russia on stemming the violence in Syria’s brutal civil war, with President Barack Obama saying they were “working around the clock”.
Moscow and Washington support opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, which erupted in March 2011 after pro-American, militant groups launched their terrorist campaign against the people, government and army.
Successive rounds of international negotiations have failed to end a five-year crisis that has left more than 290,000 people dead and forced millions to flee.
“It is a very complicated piece of business,” Obama told reporters.
A senior State Department official said a deal was close, and could be announced by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart as soon as Sunday, but some issues remained to be resolved.
“John Kerry and his counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, have been working around the clock, as well as a number of other negotiators to see what would a real cessation of hostilities would look like,” Obama said.
“We’re not there yet.”