Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has announced that he has agreed with United States counterpart John Kerry to resume Russia-US consultations on the withdrawal of rebel groups from eastern Aleppo.

© DR

Diplomats and soldiers from both countries will meet on Saturday in Geneva to set out the details of the withdrawal of the armed groups and the exit of civilians who wish to leave the besieged city, the Russian minister told reporters in Moscow.

Lavrov and Kerry met on Wednesday and this morning in Hamburg, where they participated in a ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

The Russian minister was cautious about the prospect of a deal with the United States and said Kerry had presented him last week in Rome with a series of proposals that he would remove only two days later.

The US-Russia consultations were due to be held on Monday, but Washington eventually dropped its proposals after rebel groups refused to abandon their positions in Aleppo.

The Syrian regime, backed by the Russian area, launched an offensive three weeks ago to recover the rebels from eastern Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city and main economic center before the war.

The eastern part of Aleppo was controlled by the rebels since 2012 and was home to about 250,000 civilians before the ongoing offensive. Since then, tens of thousands of civilians have fled and about three-quarters of that part of the city has been seized by the forces of the Damascus regime.

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