US, Russia to again engage in diplomatic talks for Syria ceasefire


25 people were killed by heavy air strikes on opposition-held areas of Aleppo, Wednesday according to the Civil Defence, a rescue service working in rebel-held areas on Twitter.

The Syrian government launched its assault to capture rebel-held areas of Aleppo last month with Russian air support and Iranian-backed militias, a week into a cease-fire agreed by Washington and Moscow.

He also blamed Washington for thwarting the US-Russia-brokered ceasefire in Syria by failing to encourage moderate rebels to break ties with the al-Qaeda- linked militants.

Moscow, Ankara - Russia said a ministerial meeting will be held in Switzerland on Saturday to discuss the Syrian crisis, while the United States State Department said a second global meeting will take place in London on Sunday to look into the means to stop the bloodshed in the war-torn country.

But Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will now meet his United States counterpart John Kerry and other key regional powers in Switzerland on Saturday.

Then in London, Kerry will likely meet up with his European counterparts - Britain, France and Germany.

It did not specify which regional partners would take part.

Just last week the Obama administration suspended talks with Russia on Syria after accusing the Russian military of conducting a bombing campaign so brutal that Kerry has urged that it be the subject of a war crimes investigation.

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"We would like to have a meeting in this narrow format, to have a businesslike discussion, not another General Assembly-like debate", Lavrov said.

The floor of the General Assembly was the scene of a stormy weekend meeting as Russian Federation vetoed a resolution on a ceasefire.

Putin earlier this week cancelled a long-planned visit to France after Hollande insisted they discuss Syria, and on Wednesday slammed Paris for presenting a United Nations proposal on Aleppo at the weekend that Russian Federation vetoed. "But what happened?", Putin said.

The airstrikes came a day after an air raid hit eastern Aleppo's biggest market, killing at least 15 people and leveling buildings.

Aleppo, once Syria's largest city and the country's commercial and industrial hub, has been divided roughly in two since 2012, with President Bashar al-Assad's forces controlling the west and rebel factions the east.

Despite the continuing exchange of insults, the negotiations had never really stopped behind closed doors, with Kerry and Lavrov speaking by telephone in recent days.

The US State Department said Mr Kerry would discuss a "multilateral approach" to ending the crisis, "including a sustained cessation of violence and the resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries".