From Washington, this is VOA News.
I’m Joe Palka reporting.
Syrian President weighs in on ceasefire…
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Tuesday the cessation of hostilities in his country's five-year war is a "glimmer of hope." In a German television interview, President Assad said his government will do its part to make the truce work.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the next few days "critical" in building momentum toward the goal of de-escalating the Syrian conflict.
"...in determining whether or not we are able to develop some real momentum towards a de-escalation of the conflict. That is the goal here. And we’re, of course, under no illusions about the obstacles that still exist. This is hard. But the fact is that we need to stop the cycle of fighting and the bloodshed that is destroying Syria."
Opposition spokesman Salem al-Meslat says the ceasefire is in jeopardy because of repeated violations by Syrian and Russian forces.
"There has to be a power that really stops what Russia and what the (Assad) regime is doing. I don't think the regime or Russia will stick to this truce, and we hope that they will not break it.
There was a noticeable uptick in violation claims on Monday. Meanwhile, the U.N. and aid partners began humanitarian deliveries on Monday with the goal of reaching more than 150,000 Syrians in besieged areas.
The United Nations warned Tuesday that Europe is near a "self-induced humanitarian crisis" because governments are imposing border restrictions and failing to work together as migrants continue to reach the continent.
Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency, said more than 130,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean this year, most of them reaching Greece. The two-month total is near the figure for the first six months of last year.
This is VOA news.
Words in This New
weighs in – v. to state one’s opinion on an issue
cessation – n. stoppage; a halt in some action
glimmer – n. a small amount of sign of something; a weak light
interview – n. questioning someone for information
momentum – n. the strength or force that enables something to continue or to grow
de-escalating – v. reducing in amount or intensity
determining – v. to officially decide something
of course – phrase naturally
obstacle – n. a barrier
cycle – n. a series of actions that happen again and again
bloodshed – n. violence; unrest
jeopardy – n. danger; risk of death or loss
regime – n. a form of government
stick to – v. to obey; to follow
uptick – n. increase
meanwhile – adv. at or during the same time
delivery – n. the act of taking something to a person or place
besieged – adj. of or related to being surrounded by police or soldiers;
self-induced – adj. brought about by oneself
imposing – v. ordering; establishing
migrant – n. people who move from place to place for a job or economic reasons
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