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UN Security Council approves Russia-Turkey ceasefire plan for Syria


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UN Security Council approves Russia-Turkey ceasefire plan for Syria

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution welcoming a ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia and Turkey.

It also gives formal approval for planned talks to take place in Kazakhstan next week between the Syrian government and opposition.

Russia and Turkey announced the ceasefire this week, the third this year seeking to end the war.

“This is a very important initiative. And the resolution that we adopted today confirms the need to establish and to respect the ceasefire in Syria, as well as it confirms the need to hold a very important meeting in the capital of Kazakhstan,” said Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.

The UN resolution also calls for the “rapid, safe and unhindered” access to deliver humanitarian aid throughout Syria.

However some rebel groups have threatened to abandon the two-day old truce if violations persisted.

Factions belonging to the Free Syria Army (FSA) – a loose alliance of militias excluding more radical Islamist groups – said government forces and Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah fighters had been trying to push rebels back in the Wadi Barada Valley, northwest of Damascus.

The rebels and political opposition accuse the government of massing forces to launch a ground attack.

Syria’s foreign minister visited Iran on Saturday to discuss the latest developments on the ground, including the nationwide truce.

Walid al-Moallem held a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iran, along with Russia, provides crucial military support to President Assad’s government – which has been boosted after recently taking control of Aleppo.

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