Russian Official: Russia, US Near Deal on Aleppo Cease-Fire

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 8, 2016 Updated: December 8, 2016

MOSCOW—A Russian deputy foreign minister says Russia is close to reaching a deal with the United States on a cease-fire for the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia have rejected previous calls for truce for the war-torn city, keeping up the military offensive that has squeezed and forced rebels to retreat in several areas.

A Syrian girl walks amid the wreckage of damaged buildings and shops in the western city of Aleppo, Syria, on Dec 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A Syrian girl walks amid the wreckage of damaged buildings and shops in the western city of Aleppo, Syria, on Dec 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

In this file photo, a ball of fire rises following an air strike hits insurgents positions in eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
In this file photo, a ball of fire rises following an air strike hits insurgents positions in eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, Syria. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Russian news agencies on Thursday quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying that Moscow and Washington are “close to reaching an understanding” on Aleppo but warned against “high expectations.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met on Wednesday in Germany but didn’t release any statements.

Ryabkov said the Kerry-Lavrov talks were extensive but said a final deal has not been worked out yet.