Turkey calls for permanent ceasefire and peaceful transition in Syria

Turkish media has reported that Moscow and Ankara have a proposal for a ceasefire in Syria that could take effect by Thursday.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Under the proposal the ceasefire will be extended throughout Syria.

A transition towards peace in Syria involving regime leader Bashar al-Assad is "impossible" as the country's opposition will not accept him, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday. 

His comments come after Turkish media reported that Ankara and Moscow agreed to a nationwide ceasefire in Syria that would kick off at midnight.

Cavusoglu confirmed that Turkey had prepared an agreement towards a ceasefire but did not go into details. 

The ceasefire could bring Bashar al Assad's regime and Syrian opposition forces closer to ending a five year conflict that has displaced millions and killed over 400,000 people.

"The plan is expected to be carried in all areas where the Assad regime and opposition are fighting," Anadolu Agency (AA) reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed official. 

The report said terror organisations operating in Syria will be excluded from the deal.

Anadolu Agency reported that if the ceasefire succeeds, political negotiations between Assad and opposition parties are expected to take place in Kazakhstan's capital Astana. The report did not specify when the talks were likely to take place.

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah has more:

Arrangements for the talks, which would not include the United States and be distinct from separate intermittent UN-brokered negotiations, remain hazy.

Meanwhile, the Russian embassy in Damascus was shelled twice on Wednesday afternoon, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, calling it a provocation aimed at derailing peace settlement in the country.

It said a shell hit an inner yard of the embassy complex, while another shell landed near the diplomatic mission. De-mining specialists have been working in the hit area.

Syria was plunged into a civil war in 2011, after Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protestors. More than 10 million people are displaced across the war-torn country, the United Nations said, and millions of others have fled to other countries.

Ankara and Moscow have supported opposing sides in the Syrian civil war. Turkey says Assad needs to go while Russia and Iran seek a solution that will include him. 

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies