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Russia and Turkey reach ceasefire agreement over Syria

Russian president Vladimir Putin said a Syrian ceasefire agreement has been reached with Turkey.

Mr Putin said Russia and Turkey will guarantee the truce, which is set to begin at midnight.

He said it will be followed by peace talks between Syrian president Bashar Assad's government and the opposition, and that the Syrian parties will take part in talks to be held in Kazakhstan at a later date.

Syria's military has agreed to a nationwide ceasefire, starting at midnight.

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu said the truce will include 62,000 opposition fighters across Syria, and that the Russian military has established a hotline with its Turkish counterpart to monitor compliance.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said US president-elect Donald Trump's administration will be welcome to join the Syrian peace process once he takes office.

Russia is a key ally of Mr Assad, while Turkey is one of the main backers of the opposition.

Several previous attempts to halt the Syrian civil war have failed.

In a statement carried by state news agency SANA, the Syrian military command "declares a comprehensive nationwide cessation of hostilities as of midnight".

State TV said the ceasefire paves the way for reactivating negotiations to end the conflict.

It said the ceasefire comes after the "successes achieved by the armed forces", an apparent reference to the capture of rebel-held neighbourhoods of Aleppo earlier this month.

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