The United States and Russia have reportedly agreed on a cease-fire for a wartorn region of Syria, US officials told media as President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in person.
Although details of the cease-fire have yet to be released, it’s known that it will take effect Sunday at noon Damascus time, the AP reported.
Prior to Trump’s meeting with Putin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US was open to working together with Russia in Syria.
“The US is prepared to explore the possibility of establishing with Russia joint mechanisms for ensuring stability, including no-fly zones, on the ground ceasefire observers, and coordinated delivery of humanitarian assistance,” he stated on Wednesday. “If our two countries work together to establish stability on the ground, it will lay a foundation for progress on the settlement of Syria’s political future.”
Earlier in the week, Syria’s military had said it was halting combat operations in the south of Syria for four days, in advance of a new round of Russia-sponsored talks in Astana. That move covered southern provinces of Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida. Syria’s government briefly extended that unilateral cease-fire, which is now set to expire Saturday – a day before the U.S. and Russian deal would take effect.
The new agreement to be announced Friday will be open-ended, one U.S. official said, describing it as part of broader U.S. discussions with Russia on trying to lower violence in the war-ravaged country. Officials said the U.S. and Russia were still working out the details as Trump and Putin concluded their more than two-hour meeting on Friday.
It was no coincidence that the two countries reached a deal after Trump talked to Putin in person at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
The two leaders met for over two hourson Friday, despite the meeting only scheduled for 30 minutes, which indicates Trump took advantage of the in-person meeting to make a deal with Putin and hammer out details of the cease-fire.