Tur­key, Rus­sia agree on Syria cease-fire

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Is­tan­bul

Tur­key and Rus­sia have agreed to a cease-fire plan for all of Syria that was ex­pected to come into force at mid­night Wed­nes­day, Turk­ish state me­dia said on Wed­nes­day, as Ankara and Moscow tighten co­op­er­a­tion to find an end to the civil war.

The plan was to ex­pand to the whole coun­try a cease­fire that was bro­kered by Tur­key and Rus­sia ear­lier this month in the city of Aleppo to al­low for the evac­u­a­tion of civil­ians, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

But in a speech in Ankara fol­low­ing the re­port, Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan made no ref­er­ence to the plan, while Krem­lin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he could not an­swer ques­tions on an is­sue “about which I don’t have enough in­for­ma­tion”.

A Syr­ian rebel source, who asked not to be named, told AFP in Beirut that de­tails still had to be sub­mit­ted to the rebel groups, adding that there was no agree­ment as yet.

Like ear­lier plans bro­kered by the United States and Rus­sia, it ex­cludes “ter­ror” groups, the agency said.

If suc­cess­ful, the plan could form the ba­sis of po­lit­i­cal ne­go­ti­a­tions over­seen by Rus­sia and Tur­key be­tween the Da­m­as­cus regime and the op­po­si­tion in the Kazakh cap­i­tal As­tana, it added.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear how and where the plan had been agreed on. Qatar­based Al-Jazeera said a new meet­ing is planned on Thurs­day in Ankara be­tween Syr­ian rebels and Rus­sia.

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