Lavrov, de Mistura discuss Syria
Russia confirmed on Wednesday its foreign minister had spoken to the UN’s special envoy on Syria.

Sergey Lavrov called Staffan de Mistura and "exchanged views on the efforts of launching a political process in Syria,” according to Russia’s foreign ministry.

The ministry said de Mistura supported the results of a trilateral meeting on Syria held between Russia, Iran and Turkey on Dec. 20 in Moscow.

The statement also said Lavrov and de Mistura agreed to continue talks on the implementation of an agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Speaking earlier in Berlin, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer said his country would welcome any comprehensive cease-fire deal that could pave the way for a political solution in Syria.

"If there is a nationwide cease-fire [in Syria], we will certainly welcome it,” Fischer told reporters.

Cease-fire plan

Wednesday's statement came hours after an Anadolu Agency report stated Turkey and Russia had agreed on a plan for warring parties in Syria to declare a nationwide cease-fire.

According to confidential Turkish sources, the plan will come into force at midnight on Wednesday and will be carried out in all areas where the Bashar al-Assad regime and the opposition are fighting.

The source also said if the cease-fire succeeds, political negotiations will start in the capital of Kazakhstan under Turkey and Russia’s guidance.

"We always stressed a country-wide cease-fire,” the German official said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Moscow and Ankara had agreed to an earlier proposal to bring together representatives of the Syrian regime and opposition in Kazakhstan.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has expressed his "readiness" to provide a platform for talks in Astana to solve the long-standing crisis.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-torn country, according to the UN.
Last Modified: 2016-12-29 11:06:23
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