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Iran Press TV

Comprehensive ceasefire, peace talks sole way out of Syria crisis: Russia

Iran Press TV

Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:30AM

Russia says a political settlement based on the resumption of "inclusive inter-Syrian" negotiations and enforcing an "all-encompassing ceasefire" is the sole solution to the years-long conflict in the Arab country.

"The first and foremost task today is the establishment of all-encompassing ceasefire and the resumption of inter-Syrian negotiations, the readiness of which Damascus has re-confirmed repeatedly," Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said at a Security Council meeting in New York on Friday.

He added that Moscow, however, believes that delivering humanitarian aid and a simultaneous fight against terror must complement parallel efforts to reach a ceasefire and hold negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition.

"We are convinced that there is no alternative to the political regulation [than the one] based on the inclusive inter-Syrian dialogue with the parallel provision of ceasefire, access to humanitarian aid and continuation of the fight against terrorism," the Russian diplomat stated.

Churkin also hailed his country's counter-terrorism operations in Syria which he said have barred terrorists from capturing the capital Damascus, minimized their military and economic potential, and liberated vast territories, including the major city of Aleppo, from the clutches of militants.

Moscow keeps on taking all possible measures to reduce tensions and resolve vital humanitarian issues in the country, particularly in newly-liberated Aleppo, he said.

"At the same time, massive humanitarian and medical aid is being provided to the Syrian population affected by the conflict, and the main wave of humanitarian aid is being delivered to Aleppo for a couple of days now," Churkin added.

He went on to say that the military operations in the northwestern city as well as the evacuation of militants and their families from the eastern part of Aleppo "are coming to an end."

Earlier in the day, Russia's Defense Ministry said more than 6,400 people, including over 3,000 militants, had been transferred out of the city as part of a ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey.

Russia began its military campaign against terrorists in Syria in September last year upon a request from the Damascus government, shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the mandate to use military force in Syria.

The conflict in Syria, which flared up in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an estimate by UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

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