Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Syrian government and the armed opposition agreed to a ceasefire and beginning peace talks. On the eve of the truce throughout the country on the model of Aleppo announced by Turkish state media.
Putin announced the agreements announced the other day by Turkish news Agency “Anadolu”, at a meeting with Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
“I just got the message that today a few hours ago, an event occurred which we have not just waited a long time, but the approach which worked. Three documents signed”, — said Putin.
First, he said, we are talking about a truce and cease-fire: “the First document between the Syrian government and the armed opposition ceasefire in the Syrian Arab Republic.”
The second document, according to Putin, provides for a “package of measures” to control the observance of the cease-fire. The third agreement contains a statement to the “ready to begin peace talks on the Syrian settlement,” Putin explained.
Shoigu said that the ceasefire in Syria will be effective from midnight on 30 December.
According to Shoigu, the defense Ministry “within two months, under the mediation of Turkey have been negotiating with the leaders of the moderate Syrian opposition”. “These formation control most of the territory of the Central part of Syria that is not under the power of Damascus,” — said the Minister.
On the eve of such a course of events anticipated by the Turkish media. The state Agency Anadolu reported on the agreement on the cessation of hostilities throughout Syria. The same Russian-Turkish agreement previously allowed to stop fighting in Aleppo.
Later, the Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed that the Russian and Turkish diplomats have completed work on agreement on ceasefire and future negotiations between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the opposition on a political settlement. While the Turkish Minister stressed that peace in Syria is impossible to install, as long as Assad remains President, since his departure — the main condition of the opposition.
Last week, 20 December, Moscow hosted talks on Syria at the level of Ministers of foreign Affairs of Russia, Turkey and Iran, which are now Putin said.
“A very great work was done in cooperation with partners from Turkey. We know that recently held a trilateral meeting in Moscow of the foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran, where all three countries have committed themselves not only to control but also guarantees peace settlement process in Syria,” said Putin.
“The agreements, of course, are fragile, require special attention,” he added, urging the Syrian government and opposition prepare for talks.
It is expected that the meeting of representatives of the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition could be held in mid-January in Kazakhstan. In February the next round of talks in Geneva.
After talks in Moscow, Lavrov said that the format of the “Troika” — Russia, Iran and Turkey — was the most effective to resolve the conflict in Syria. The Minister then announced the continuation of the mediation efforts of the three countries.
Before after messages of Turkish mass media about the impending truce across Syria Reuters, citing sources, reported that the plan of Russia and Turkey drawn up with the participation of Iran, envisages the division of the country into zones of influence. The plan, according to these reports, will allow Assad to remain in power for several years before the next presidential election. The Agency stressed that such a scheme still needs to coordinate with the Syrian President and the opposition (a key requirement of which is the immediate resignation of Assad).
Russia launched a military campaign in Syria in late September 2015, supporting the Assad regime. It was also supported by Iran, whose militias and the military took an active part in the hostilities in Syria. Turkey throughout the war in Syria advocated the overthrow of Assad.