Putin Says Syrian Government, Armed Opposition Reach Ceasefire Agreement
The Syrian government and armed opposition groups reached an agreement on a ceasefire on Syrian territory and on readiness to start peace talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
"It was just reported that today a few hours ago an event occurred, which we have not just been waiting for long, but which we worked a lot to make closer. Three documents have been signed," Putin said.
"The first document is between the Syrian government and the armed opposition of the ceasefire in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic," he said.
"The second document is a set of measures to monitor the ceasefire regime and the third document is a statement of readiness to start peace negotiations on the Syrian settlement," Putin said at a meeting with the foreign and defense ministers.
He added that the agreements on Syria are fragile, and require special attention and patience, as well as constant contact with partners.
The truce is supported by seven major armed opposition groups that have over 60,000 fighters in their ranks, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.
He added that if the agreement holds, it would allow Russia to scale down its military presence in Syria.
Putin said that such a pull-out would not mean a stop to Russia’s international anti-terrorist effort.
He added that he will contact his Iranian and Turkish counterparts to discuss further steps in the Syrian peace process.
Ankara has called on all parties that can exert influence on armed groups to support the ceasefire deal.
Damascus has confirmed that it will observe the ceasefire starting December 30 midnight local time [22:00 GMT].
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Turkey and Russia will act as guarantors of the truce, which does not include groups designated as terrorists by the United Nations.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team