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Senator says Assad backs Russia's efforts to reach ceasefire

During the meeting with the Syrian president and European MPs the Russian senator has stressed that the agreement is "pivotal"

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Bashar Assad strongly supports the common efforts of Russia and other countries aimed at reaching a ceasefire between the warring sides in Syria, Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee for International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev, who is currently in Syria as a member of a parliamentary delegation, told TASS on Thursday.

"Assad has voiced strong support for the efforts being made by Russia together with other countries in order to reach a ceasefire between the parties to the Syrian conflict," the Russian senator said following his meeting with the Syrian president.

"The general assessment is that the agreement is pivotal," Kosachev stressed.

Kosachev added that the conversation between the members of the delegation and President Assad "lasted more than an hour and was very constructive and substantial."

Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier in the day that agreements had been reached on ceasefire in Syria and readiness to start peace talks. Three documents have been signed, the Russian leader said. The first document was signed by the Syrian government and armed opposition on the cessation of hostilities in Syria. The second one is a package of measures to monitor the ceasefire, while the third document is the statement on readiness to start peace talks on the Syrian settlement, Putin noted.

It was announced in mid-December that representatives of the European Parliament could visit Syria. Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, said at a news conference on December 20 that a group of European Parliament members got in touch with the Russian side suggesting a joint trip to Syria to see with their own eyes what is going on there.