The United States and Russia have agreed to terms for a cease-fire in Syria, marking the second formal attempt this month by world powers to halt the violence of Syria’s civil war.
The two countries announced in a joint statement Monday that they had reached a deal for a “cessation of hostilities” among the various forces in the conflict, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people since 2011. The agreement requires all sides involved to accept the terms no later than Friday at noon, Damascus time.
“The United States and the Russian Federation together call upon all Syrian parties, regional states, and others in the international community to support the immediate cessation of violence and bloodshed in Syria,” the statement said.
President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone Monday about the agreement, the White House said.
The U.S. and Russia chair the International Syria Support Group, a 17-member organization that includes the European Union and the Arab League. The two nations say they want a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, but their support of opposing sides has stymied even the most basic of peace negotiations for months. The Americans want Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power and have trained and equipped opposition militias fighting against his government, while the Russians have been bombing rebels on Assad’s behalf and supporting government troops with air power.