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Turkey and Russia agree on proposal toward Syrian ceasefire, Anadolu says

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan arrive for a joint news conference following their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

(Reuters) Turkey and Russia have agreed on a proposal toward a general ceasefire in Syria, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said on Wednesday, and will aim to put it into effect by midnight.

Anadolu, citing sources, said the two countries have reached a consensus that will be presented to participants in the conflict on expanding the ceasefire that was established in Aleppo earlier this month.

A spokesman at Turkey’s foreign ministry said he had no immediate comment on the report.

Russia, Iran and Turkey said last week they were ready to help broker a peace deal after holding talks in Moscow where they adopted a declaration setting out the principles any agreement should adhere to.

Arrangements for the talks, which would not include the United States and be distinct from separate intermittent U.N.-brokered negotiations, remain hazy, but Moscow has said they would take place in Kazakhstan, a close ally.

Russia’s foreign minister on Tuesday said the Syrian government was consulting with the opposition ahead of possible peace talks, while a Saudi-backed opposition group said it knew nothing of the negotiations but supported a ceasefire.

The Turkish military said earlier on Wednesday it had “neutralized” 44 Islamic State militants and wounded 117 as part of its operation in the northern Syrian town of al-Bab.

In a statement, the military also said seven rebels had been wounded in clashes over the past day, while 154 Islamic State targets had been struck by artillery and other weaponry.

Rebels supported by Turkish troops have laid siege to al-Bab for weeks under the “Euphrates Shield” operation launched by Turkey nearly four months ago to sweep the Sunni hardliners and Kurdish fighters from its Syrian border.



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