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Monday 18 November 2019

UN welcomes cease fire deal for part of Syria struck during US and Russia talks

Officials gather after a suicide attack in Hama, Syria (Sana via AP)
Officials gather after a suicide attack in Hama, Syria (Sana via AP)

The United Nations has welcomed an agreement between the United States and Russia for a cease fire in south west Syria.

It is set to go into effect at noon local time on Sunday as part of a renewed effort to stem the six-year civil war and t he UN said it would enable upcoming peace talks.

The United States and Russia struck an agreement for the cease fire as President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin met in Hamburg, Germany, during a G20 summit.

UN deputy special envoy to Syria Ramzy Ramzy said the agreement is a step in the right direction.

He said he hopes other areas in Syria will see similar agreements to reduce violence.

Mr Ramzy is in Damascus ahead of a new round of UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva on Monday.

This marks the first US-Russian effort under Mr Trump's presidency aimed at the conflict in Syria. The nation of Jordan is also involved in the agreement.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the aim is to reduce violence in an area of Syria near Jordan's border that is critical to that country's security.

Officials said the deal had been in the works for weeks or months, but came together in time for the Trump-Putin meeting.


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