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China welcomes Russian-US agreement on ceasefire in Syria — foreign ministry

February 23, 15:14 UTC+3 BEIJING
The foreign ministry spokeswoman expressed hope that ceasefire will be ensured on the Syrian territory with support of Ceasefire Task Force
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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying

© EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

BEIJING, February 23. /TASS/. China welcomes the agreement reached by Russia and United States on ceasefire in Syria, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a briefing on Tuesday.

"The important decision made at the fourth meeting of the foreign ministers in Munich and the agreement on cessation of hostilities in Syria reached by Russia and United States yesterday serves as evidence that understanding between interested parties has evolved into concrete actions. We welcome that," Hua said.

"We think that ceasefire is an important part of political settlement of the Syrian problem. If it is implemented, this step will facilitate the hard-attained political resolution of the Syrian issue and may promote the process of peaceful negotiations of the sides," she added.

The foreign ministry spokeswoman expressed hope that ceasefire will be ensured on the Syrian territory with support of Ceasefire Task Force, and that this will create the basis for soonest resumption of Geneva talks.

Cessation of hostilities is due to come into force in Syria on February 27, a joint statement of the United States and Russia said. The statement was released by the U.S. Department of State on Monday. "The cessation of hostilities commence at 00:00 (Damascus time) on February 27, 2016," the joint statement said.

"The United States of America and the Russian Federation, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and seeking to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis with full respect for the fundamental role of the United Nations, are fully determined to provide their strongest support to end the Syrian conflict and establish conditions for a successful Syrian-led political transition process, facilitated by the UN," it said.

The statement points out that the cessation of hostilities is to be applied to all parties to the Syrian conflict but for Daesh (the Arabic acronym for Islamic State) and Jebhat an-Nusra (both are banned in Russia) "or other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council."

The second round of inter-Syrian talks was planned to start in Geneva under UN auspices on February 25 . However, at the end of last week UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura admitted that it will be impossible to resume talks on that day.

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