Syrian Army Declares Two-Day Ceasefire in Deraa

Fighting continues elsewhere in Syria even as a ceasefire has been declared in Deraa. (File Photo)Fighting continues elsewhere in Syria even as a ceasefire has been declared in Deraa. (File Photo)

The Syrian military says it has suspended combat operations in the southern city of Deraa for 48 hours, as mediators announced two separate attempts to convene a new round of talks next month.

The Syrian Army general command said the ceasefire, effective at 0900 GMT on Saturday, was being implemented to support “reconciliation efforts”, according to a statement carried by state news agency SANA, Aljazeera reported.

The announcement came on the same day as the United Nations said it wanted to start a fresh round of talks between Syrian factions on July 10 in Geneva and Moscow said it hoped to hold discussions in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on July 4-5.

Since a resumption of negotiations last year, there have been multiple rounds brokered by the UN in Geneva between representatives of Syrian rebels and the government of President Bashar al-Assad, resulting in scant progress.

Another track of talks brokered by Russia-a key Assad ally-has also been happening in Astana, Kazakhstan, since January.

In an emailed statement, the office of Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, said he wished to convene a seventh round of Geneva talks in July and further rounds in August and September, Reuters reported.

The United States welcomed the truce announcement and called on the Syrian government to live up to its ceasefire commitments.


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