Russia, Turkey, and Iran Make Deal to Back Syria Ceasefire
In a statement after the sessions closed, Syria's ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Ja'afari, who led the government delegation to the talks in Astana, says the offensive by the government and allied troops on Wadi Baradi would continue as long as "terrorist groups" controlled the main water supply to Damascus.
Russian-led talks on Syria ended with agreement Tuesday to bolster a cease-fire even as apparent disputes with Iran, a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad, threaten to hold up efforts to end the six-year civil war.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in a phone conversation discussed the negotiations on Syria, underway in the Kazakh capital of Astana, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a message.
Amid deteriorating relations with the Obama administration over a failed peace effort in September, Russia seized the diplomatic initiative after its forces helped Assad to expel rebel fighters from Aleppo, once Syria's largest city, last month - a turning point in a war that's killed more than 300,000.
The Syrians at the talks were also not party to the agreement and were not asked to sign on to it, underscoring the extent to which their fate is now being decided by the outside powers that have been their benefactors in the war.
"But they are finding a lot of obstacles from Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah forces, Iran and the regime", he added. "Things remain unclear", the FSA commander said.
Only once the cease-fire is fully respected will the opposition take part in talks in Geneva planned by the United Nations next month, he said.
"We presented a scheme for mechanisms to monitor and implement the ceasefire", Abu Zaid said during a press briefing shortly after the joint statement was made.
He told reporters that the deal paves the way for more dialogue among Syrians in the future.
The talks in Astana, which started on Monday, saw delegates from the warring sides spar over different interpretations of the December 30 ceasefire brokered by Russian Federation and Turkey, as their respective regional backers met behind closed doors to keep the meeting on track. Jaafari said that Iran "played a positive role in facilitating reaching this final formula that is expressed in the final declaration". "The opposition asked that those groups leave Syria in return of a possibility of fighting Jubhat Fatah al-Sham, a suggestion that was rejected by Iran", the sources said. They started in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on Monday.
While the first day of talks featured the first time that representatives from both the Syrian Government and opposition factions sat at one table for the opening, both sides refused direct negotiations and proceeded to accuse each other of undermining the talks.
Mohammed Alloush, the chief rebel negotiator, who's from the Army of Islam, told reporters that the main goal of the talks was to "stop the bloodshed of the Syrian people". "We will not proceed to the next phases until this actually happens on the ground".
Mr Ja'afari accused insurgents of using the water as a weapon but the rebels deny al-Qaeda-linked is in the area, and have negotiated to include it in the ceasefire agreement.
Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed upon an agenda to help settle the Syrian crisis earlier in a trilateral meeting held in Moscow on December 20 and the Resolution 2336 was adopted by UNSC on Dec. 31 to support an inclusive ceasefire in Syria and the political process.
She and Shawna Nipper are Co-Organizers for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Women's Rights March in the Nation's Capital Saturday. Hundreds of women from Missouri are headed to Washington D.C.to participate in Saturday's Women's March on Washington event.
The results could be illuminating for the new administration as it moves forward on promises to reopen NAFTA. Canada's minister of global trade, Chrystia Freeland, did not respond to a request for comment.
Chinese banks extended a record 12.56 trillion yuan ($1.82 trillion) of loans in 2016, half of which was in mortgage loans. The analysts had expected the quarterly growth would ease marginally to 1.7 percent.
Roethlisberger on the loss: "It's disappointing that we couldn't get this one for (chairman emeritus Dan) Rooney". It may seem a little outlandish of him contemplate his future in football, but it is not definite.
Cutting oil supply is meant to raise oil prices somewhat, creating a more balanced oil market between producers and buyers. The stepped up US activity has been focused on the Permian Basin, where acquisitions are also ramping up.
Kylie Jenner's bob is back! The curvy 19-year-old has blessed fans with new pics from her Puma collaboration. In a Snapchat story posted Monday night, we see her in the auto with dark, chin-length locks.
Most of this warming trend throughout the world has taken place in the last 35 years, the U.S. space agency said. The rise in global temperatures was aided by the natural phenomenon called El Niño.
Man robs Kansas bank to 'escape wife'
A pensioner has admitted to robbing a bank in Kansas after deciding he would rather be in jail than be at home with his wife. So, the 70-year-old made a decision to rob a Kansas City, Kan., bank because he preferred prison to living with his wife.
Russia Says Lavrov To Meet Syrian Opposition This Week
The meeting, organized by Russian Federation and Turkey, was attended by both the Syrian government and the armed opposition. The two sides sat at the same table for the opening statements, but spent the rest of yesterday negotiating via mediators.
Rio Tinto sells mines to China's Yancoal
Li Xiyong, chairman of Yancoal, was excited about the addition of world class, tier-one assets to the company's asset base. The sale of Coal & Allied represents the culmination of an extensive assessment of all strategic options, Rio said .
Protesters in US rally against Trump presidency
As the Associated Press reported, several protesters were heard booing attendees coming to and from the event. Then a middle-aged woman, also in Trump gear, approached to talk. "This is a great moment in history".
AFCON 2017: Grant repeats same squad for Mali encounter
It gave Ghana their second straight win in Group D, having started their campaign with victory over Uganda last week. Hamari Traore was also unfortunate to see his 20-yard volley sail beyond the top corner as Ghana held on.