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US says Russia offers to send monitors for Syria cease-fire

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-14 13:34

WASHINGTON - Russia has offered to send its own monitors to prevent violations of a new cease-fire in southwest Syria by the Syrian government, a senior US official said on Thursday.

"The Russians have made clear they are very serious about this and willing to put some of their people on the ground to help monitor from the regime side," said Brett McGurk, US special presidential envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State, here at a press conference.

"So far we're very encouraged by the progress over the last five days," McGurk added.

Russia, the United States and Jordan reached a deal last week to support a cease-fire in southwest Syria, setting up a de-escalation zone to create environment for reaching a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

At a press conference on Thursday in Paris, France, US President Donald Trump said the United States was working with Russia to establish a second cease-fire in "a very rough part of Syria."

"I think the President's referring to a very constructive discussion that he had with the Russians and building from this southwest agreement," said McGurk when asked about Trump's remarks.

Meanwhile, the seventh round of Syrian peace talks, attended by the Syrian government and opposition officials, started on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, in an attempt to end the six-year-long civil war in Syria. But expectations for a breakthrough are low as the two sides are still far apart over a number of issues.

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