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Russia, U.S. Pledge To Intensify Syria Truce Efforts


A wounded Syrian boy looks on at a makeshift hospital following reported Syrian government air strikes on the rebel-held town of Arbin on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, on May 9.

Russia and the United States have agreed to “redouble efforts” to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict and extend a truce across the country.

"We have decided to reconfirm our commitment to the [cease-fire] in Syria and to intensify efforts to ensure its nationwide implementation," the two sides said in a joint statement issued on May 9.

The statement comes as representatives from the United States, European Union, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey gather in Paris in an effort to relaunch the Syrian peace process.

Riad Hijab, head of the Western-backed Syrian opposition coalition, will attend the talks.

UN-mediated peace talks in Geneva between Syrian government delegates and opposition figures, including representatives from rebel groups, broke up last month without significant progress.

The deadlock comes as surging violence in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, has wrecked a February "cessation of hostilities" agreement sponsored by Washington and Moscow.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters