U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia's Sergei Lavrov sought on Friday to finalize an agreement on fighting Islamist militants in Syria as the first evacuees left a besieged Damascus surbub under a plan which has aroused the U.N.'s concern.
A deal on fighting jihadists in Syria could help lead to an end to fighting between the army and its militia allies on one side and non-jihadist rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. This could pave the way for talks on a political transition to end the five-year Syrian conflict.
As Kerry and the Russian foreign minister met at a hotel on Lake Geneva, residents and insurgents began to leave the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya where civilians have been trapped since 2012, Reuters witnesses said.
Rebels and Syria's army agreed the plan on Thursday to evacuate all the 4,000 residents and some 700 insurgents from Daraya in the coming days, ending one of the longest stand-offs in the civil war.
Read the full article here.