December 29th, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
– RIA – translated by J. Flores –
Damascus and the Syrian opposition agreed on a ceasefire in the country, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The cease-fire will come into effect at 0.00 hours on December 30th. Guarantors of the truce are Russia, Turkey and Iran.
A long-awaited truce
According to the Russian President, the cease-fire is an event, which we have been waiting for and for which we work hard to accomplish.
As Putin said, three documents were just just signed: an agreement between Damascus and the armed opposition on the cease-fire in Syria, the document is a package of measures to monitor the cease-fire regime and declaration of readiness to start peace negotiations on the Syrian settlement.
The Russian leader stressed that the agreements reached are fragile, requiring special attention, patience and constant contact with partners.
The opposition is ready to join
Syrian opposition confirmed that joining the regime of the ceasefire at midnight, the agency Reuters referring to one of its representatives.
According to the source, the truce does not extend to the territory under the control of the terrorist group “Islamic State” (IS, banned in Russia).
According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the cease-fire agreement signed by seven groups that make up the core of the armed Syrian opposition. Their total number reaches 60 thousand fighters.
Factions of the opposition not adhering to the truce will be moved into the category of terrorism, the head of the defense ministry said in its statement..
The dialogue will continue in Astana
Guarantors of the Syrian truce are made by Russia, Iran and Turkey; negotiations took place last week in Moscow,
Putin urged the parties to the conflict and all the countries of the region to support the agreement and to take an active part in the meeting in Astana. By the agreement with the Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, there will be peace talks on Syria.
“We need to see to it now that these agreements come into force, so that they have proven themselves, in order to create broader agreements in a timely manner and as quickly as possible, and now the negotiating team will go to Astana to start a real peace process there”, stressed the head of state.
According to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia along with Turkey and Iran have already begun to prepare the meeting in Astana.
Russia will reduce its presence in Syria
Against the background of the agreements reached a truce Russia will reduce its military presence in Syria.
The Russian leader stressed that Moscow will continue to fight against international terrorism and will continue to support this fight legitimate Syrian government.
Also, according to Putin, Russia will fulfill the concluded agreement with Damascus, including the development of the Russian troops deployment in Tartus and Hmeymim airport.