Turkey, Russia agree on ceasefire plan for Syria: Turkish official

Turkey and Russia have agreed to a proposal for a ceasefire in Syria, Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu reported on Wednesday quoting an unnamed Turkish official.

The plan is expected to be carried out in all areas where the Syrian army and the opposition are fighting, said the official, adding that under the plan, Ankara and Moscow will work for the ceasefire to come into force at midnight on Wednesday and that terrorist organizations will be excluded from the deal. According to Anadolu’s source the proposal is planned to be presented to the Syrian government for ‘consideration’ and if the cease-fire succeeds, political negotiations will start in the capital of Kazakhstan under Turkey and Russia’s guidance.

Civil defense team members carry out search and rescue works on the debris of the collapsed buildings after the war crafts belonging to the Syrian Army carried out airstrikes on the opposition controlled residential areas in Saqba town in the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus, Syria on November 24, 2016
Civil defense team members carry out search and rescue works on the debris of the collapsed buildings after the war crafts belonging to the Syrian Army carried out airstrikes on the opposition controlled residential areas in Saqba town in the Eastern Ghouta region of Damascus, Syria on November 24, 2016 [photo by Anadolu]

It was reported on Tuesday that a key sticking point in the Russian-Turkish negotiations is East Ghouta, an area near Damascus that the Syrian government wants to exclude from any ceasefire agreement. Anadolu report did not mention whether the agreement includes East Ghouta too.

Update 1 — 28/12/2016 12:30 GMT | Kremlin not aware of reported Moscow-Ankara agreement on Syrian ceasefire: spokesman

The Kremlin is not aware of any agreement between Russia and Turkey on a ceasefire in Syria, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday. “I cannot answer this question, I do not have enough information,” Peskov said, when asked to comment on Turkish media reports that Moscow and Ankara had reached a consensus on a new ceasefire in Syria.

Update 2 — 28/12/2016 13:15 GMT | UN’s de Mistura backs Syria initiative of Russia, Iran, Turkey: Russian Foreign Ministry

UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura supports efforts by Russia, Turkey and Iran to achieve a ceasefire in Syria and organize new Syrian peace talks in Kazakhstan, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said. In a telephone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, de Mistura backed the results of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran held in Moscow on December 20, the ministry said.

Sources: Syria & Iraq News/Anadolu/Russia Today

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