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Iran Press TV

UN official welcomes partial truce in southwestern Syria

Iran Press TV

Sat Jul 8, 2017 1:18PM

The United Nations deputy special envoy for Syria has appreciated an agreement for ending fighting in southwestern Syria as positive, saying it could help efforts to reach permanent peace in the Arab country.

Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy said on Saturday that the ceasefire reached between the United States, Russia and Jordan, which will go into effect as of Sunday noon local time, would help the political process in Syria.

"This is a step in the right direction... All of this leads to supporting the political process," Ramzy said in a briefing with reporters in Damascus one day after the deal was announced in Hamburg, Germany.

The UN official said the initiative could be a boost for peace talks that are going to be held under the auspices of the UN. He hoped that other areas in Syria could experience similar truce agreements to reduce the violence on the ground.

Ramzy is in Syria just two days ahead of the start of peace negotiations on in the Swiss city of Geneva. Previous rounds of talks between representatives of the Syrian government and various opposition and militant groups have failed to produce lasting peace in Syria. The warring parties have also attended separate rounds of talks in Kazakhstan, where Iran, Russia and Turkey, as three main stakeholders of the conflict, have been pursuing similar de-escalation agreements.

The truce deal for southwestern Syria is the first of its kind between the United States and Russia as Washington, a main opponent of the Syrian government, is becoming more interested in supporting the political process.

More than 300,000 people are thought to have been killed in more than six years of militancy in Syria. The government has repeatedly blamed regional states and their allies in the West for the spread of violence.

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