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Russia reaffirms its commitment to Syria ceasefire — Merkel

March 04, 2016, 15:49 UTC+3

Leaders of Russia, UK, France, Germany and Italy held a multilateral telephone conversation on Syria earlier today

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

PARIS, March 4. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone conversation with the Western leaders on Friday, has reiterated Moscow’s commitment to the ceasefire in Syria, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference in Paris on Friday.

"I want to emphasize that the "obligations to maintain the ceasefire are in important message that has been confirmed, including by the Russian president," she said.

Taking part in the conversation, in addition to Merkel and Putin, were the leaders of France, the UK and Italy.

The German chancellor noted that Moscow had been requested to "to influence" the official Damascus to make sure that the Syrian government troops too observe the ceasefire.

"We were unanimous in the opinion that the political process in Syria should be launched as soon as possible," Merkel said.

The ceasefire in Syria came into effect overnight on February 27. Separate ceasefire violations are reported occasionally by both sides, but they are local and do not affect the overall situation. The truce does not apply to the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra extremist groups (banned in Russia) and other groups designated as terrorist organizations by the UN Security Council.

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