02:19 GMT25 February 2020
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    The ceasefire in Syria that entered in force on Friday has been kept according to initial reports, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told reporters.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Syrian government and armed opposition groups reached an agreement on a ceasefire on Syrian territory, taking effect at 00:00 on Friday. Russia and Turkey took the role of the ceasefire guarantors, but other countries may also be invited, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

    "The initial indications ceasefire is holding adequately," Churkin said on Friday.

    Astana talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups scheduled to take place in late January could then be continued in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin told reporters on Friday.

    "There is no competition, as you know Steffan de Mistura has been in touch with us, he indicated his eagerness to help organize the Astana meetings. We expect the UN to be fully involved in the preparations of the meetings in Astana and if they are successful they could move to Geneva, as far as I am concerned," Churkin said. "We don’t see any competition, overlapping of the two processes."

    Members of the US administration under President-elect Donald Trump can become important participants of the Syrian crisis talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Friday.

    "We do expect that the Trump administration…will be an important participant," Churkin told reporters.


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    ceasefire, United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, Russia, Syria
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