Emerging from a marathon meeting that stretched late into the night in Munich yesterday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the powers agreed on a plan that had the potential to "change the daily lives of the Syrian people," media reported.

"Today in Munich we believe we have made progress on both the humanitarian front and the cessation of hostilities front," Kerry said.

Importantly, the term 'ceasefire' was not included in the plan - despite earlier calls from all sides for a more definite agreement.

Ministers at yesterday talks wrangled over three core issues: a gradual cessation of hostilities with a firm end date, humanitarian access to cities being besieged by both sides and a commitment that Syrian parties return to Geneva for political negotiations.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said ending fighting could only succeed if Russia stopped air strikes supporting Syrian government forces' advance against the opposition.

A Western diplomatic source said, "We did not get a deal on the immediate end of Russian bombings, but we have a commitment to a process that if it works would change the situation."

World leaders, including the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, were meeting in Munich yesterday with the aim of restarting the peace talks between the government and Syrian opposition.

The peace talks took place against the backdrop of the fierce fight for control of Syria's Aleppo province, which continued unabated.

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