Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s public international broadcaster, has published an article in Turkish giving some details on the upshot of a telephone conversation between Erdogan and Putin on Wednesday evening. The Kremlin confirms on its website that such a conversation occurred. The Guardian has also reported on the new ceasefire, but quoting rebel sources. Lina Shamy tweeted at 12.15amGMT Thursday morning (today) that a new ceasefire had been announced two hours earlier.
The Guardian article suggests that the cessation kicked in at 11.30pm local time Wednesday and another shot at evacuations would occur at 6am local time today (namely, in a couple of hours time). The new deal appeases the Iranians, it is stated, by including provisions for evacuations at Fua and Kefraya, Shia villages in Idlib governorate. However, not all rebel observers agree that that is so. The Guardian’s sources in Aleppo informed the paper that shelling had ceased at midnight.
The DW article concentrates on the two presidents and their chat. As well as the ceasefire, evacuation and humanitarian corridors were discussed, Erdogan indicating Turkey’s willingness to provide temporary shelter for the refugees on a very flexible basis. Additionally, DW reports that Turkish foreign minister Çavuşoğlu has announced a tripartite meeting in Moscow on 27th December, the participants Russia, Turkey and Iran, to discuss achieving an overall ceasefire throughout Syria. Another DW article, in English, quotes highly disparaging remarks from Lavrov about the United States of America. He hoped, it is stated, that dealings with Turkey would be “more effective than [the] many months of a pointless hangout we have had [with] the United States.”
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