Kerry says ceasefire in Syria potentially weeks away

John Kerry
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gives a news conference at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery, File)

PARIS (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says a cease-fire between Syria’s government and the opposition could be just weeks away.

He spoke in Paris, during a visit to show solidarity with France after last week’s attacks.

Speaking at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to France, Kerry said the ceasefire envisioned by the political process that was agreed upon in Vienna on Saturday would help efforts to fight the Islamic State group. He said it would also help end the Syrian conflict that has lasted for more than four years.

Kerry began his day in meetings with embassy staffers, and with French President Francois Hollande.

During the meeting with Hollande, he said the civilized world must boost its efforts to fight the Islamic State by going after the group at its core. He said the downing of a Russian passenger jet, along with recent attacks in Lebanon and Turkey, made it clear that more pressure must be brought to bear on the extremists.

Hollande plans to visit Washington within the next week to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss further cooperation on fighting Islamic extremism and dealing with Syria.

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