The United Nations Security Council has unanimously voted to adopt a resolution for the Syrian peace process.
Plans have been put in place for early January, 2015, talks between the Syrian administration and opposition, with hopes of forming a transitional government within six months.
The UN now has one month to present the council with options for monitoring a ceasefire.
It’s the first time Russia and the US have agreed on a roadmap for peace in Syria.
However, it seems the New York talks produced no such agreement on the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.
“President Assad has lost the credibility to be able to unite the country and to provide the moral credibility to be able to govern it into the future,” said US Secretary of State, John Kerry.
The UK and France joined Kerry in calling for Assad to step down. But both China and Russia disagreed that his departure should be a precondition for talks.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said:
“Only the Syrian people themselves can define their future. This is a clear response to attempts to impose a solution from outside on Syrians on any issues including those regarding its president.”
The resolution makes no mention of whether Assad will be allowed to run for office in elections now scheduled to be held within 18 months. This is also the deadline set for putting into place a new constitution in Syria.