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Russian, Turkish presidents discuss Syria truce over phone

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-30 00:50

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyp Erdogan praised in a phone conversation Thursday a ceasefire agreement in Syria reached with the mediation of the two countries, the Kremlin said.

The two leaders stressed the importance of ongoing efforts to organize intra-Syrian talks in Astana, Kazakhstana, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Both sides called for further strengthening anti-terror cooperation and noted, in particular, that the latest truce does not apply to terrorist groups in the Middle East country, it added.

Earlier on Thursday, the Syrian government and the core groups of the so-called moderate opposition reached a ceasefire agreement from midnight on Friday and expressed their readiness to start intra-Syrian talks.

Putin and Erdogan earlier agreed that such talks could take place in Astana, a proposal that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the United Nations special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura have approved.

Also on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held phone talks with his Turkish, Iranian and Egyptian counterparts respectively. The Russian foreign minister discussed with them the newly-clinched truce agreement and preparations for the talks between Syria's conflicting sides in Astana.

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