Trying once again to make progress on the diplomatic front on Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his outgoing US counterpart have met in Rome, with talk of “new ideas” being put forward.
Without elaborating, John Kerry said both countries saw the situation as urgent and were not waiting for the change of US administration.
Lavrov told a news conference the road to eastern Aleppo was now safe for humanitarian convoys.
“We informed the UN in New York and Geneva that there is no problem with delivering aid to eastern Aleppo, and all that needs to happen is for an agreement to be made with the Syrian government for these convoys to travel through the area. They are in no danger now,” the Russian foreign minister said.
Russia has criticised the UN for dragging its feet on delivering aid.
The UN’s special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, also present in Rome, has called for the group formerly known as the Nusra Front to leave Aleppo’s besieged zone.
The United Nations has food for 150,000 people ready in western Aleppo but has said it can’t reach those trapped in the eastern enclave.
Syria and Russia declined a UN request for a pause in the fighting to evacuate sick and wounded people.