Ceasefire deal first step to peace in Syria

  • Murray McCully
Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the announcement by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that agreement on a ceasefire in Syria has been reached.

“The agreement is a breakthrough but the coming days will be crucial as we wait to see if the ceasefire holds," Mr McCully says.

"A halt to the fighting is an important first step and we urge all parties to return to negotiations on a permanent end to the war and a political transition without delay.

"New Zealand would like to acknowledge the personal commitment Secretary Kerry and Minister Lavrov have shown in brokering this agreement.

"After six years of fighting it is time to bring an end to the conflict in Syria and we hope this ceasefire can provide parties with the space to do this," Mr McCully says.

As President of the UN Security Council, New Zealand will host a Leaders' meeting of the Council to discuss Syria on 21 September, which Prime Minister John Key will chair.