France says Syria allies must exert maximum pressure to ensure truce

PARIS - France's foreign ministry called on Russia and Iran to exert "maximum pressure" on the Syrian government to implement a United Nations-backed ceasefire in eastern Ghouta, which Paris said rebel groups had already agreed to support.

"Armed groups in eastern Ghouta have pledged to the UN Security Council to abide by resolution 2401 and accept the truce. Bashar al-Assad's regime, on the other hand, did not engage in this direction. Security Council resolutions, however, also bind him," foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes Von der Muhll told reporters in a daily briefing.

She was responding to Russian criticism of rebel groups.

"We therefore call on the Syrian regime's supporters to exert maximum pressure on it to implement its obligations," she added.