An initiative by the two major powers has a distinctly retro feel: they may find they can no longer snap their fingers and command hostilities to stop
After 40 or more meetings, no two foreign ministers can know each other better than the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Their latest marathon session in Geneva produced a new and very detailed plan for a truce in Syria and better coordinated operations, as a prelude to peace. The plan has the verbal support of the Damascus government. Could it work?
That the announcement was immediately followed by an upsurge in violence is no indicator. The delay between announcement and deadline invites all parties to maximise their advantage. The test is whether fighting indeed eases off by the designated moment: Monday at sundown.
Russia’s hold over Assad is debatable, as is US influence even over its Nato ally Turkey