The Assad government and armed Syrian opposition have signed a ceasefire agreement and agreed to begin a new round of negotiations to find a political solution to the country’s civil war, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has said.
The ceasefire, which was confirmed by a rebel official, the Syrian army and the Turkish foreign ministry, is due to come into force at midnight on Thursday (2200 GMT).
“We have just received news that a few hours ago the event we have all been waiting for and working towards has happened,” Putin said during a televised meeting with the foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and defence minister, Sergei Shoigu.
Putin said three documents had been signed: a ceasefire agreement between the Syrian government and the armed opposition; a list of control mechanisms to ensure the ceasefire would work; and a statement of intent to begin negotiations on a political end to the conflict.
Putin described the ceasefire as fragile and said it would “require a lot of attention”.
Turkey and Russia will act as guarantors, Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that the agreement excluded groups the UN security council deemed to be terrorists. It called on all sides wielding influence on the warring parties to provide the necessary support to halt hostilities.
In Damascus, the Syrian army said the ceasefire came after the “successes achieved by the armed forces,” an apparent reference to the capture of rebel-held neighbourhoods of Aleppo earlier this month.