Three-way bid to boost Syria truce after Astana talks
Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed Tuesday to bolster a fragile truce in Syria but rebels and Damascus made no progress towards a broader settlement to end the war after two days of talks. The three main sponsors of the negotiations in Astana announced the creation of "a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire" in place since late December. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara -- all key players in the conflict -- also agreed armed rebel groups should take part in a new round of peace talks set to be hosted by the United Nations in Geneva next month.
Foreign powers back Syria truce deal, war erupts among rebels
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi, John Irish and Olzhas Auyezov ASTANA (Reuters) - Russia and regional powers Turkey and Iran backed a shaky truce between Syria's warring parties on Tuesday and agreed to monitor its compliance, but on the ground rebels faced continued fighting on two fronts which could undermine the deal. After two days of deliberations in Astana, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said the powers had agreed in a final communique to establish a system "to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire, prevent any provocations and determine all modalities of the ceasefire." While welcoming the text, the Syrian government's chief negotiator Bashar Ja'afari said an offensive against rebels west of Damascus would carry on.
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The Latest: US welcomes attempt to reduce violence in Syria