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Putin confirms ‘fragile’ ceasefire in Syria

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Moscow, 29 Dec 2016 : Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday confirmed that a “fragile” agreement was reached on a ceasefire in Syria and the start of peace talks.

“This agreement we’ve reached is very fragile, as we all understand. They require special attention and patience, professional attitude, and constant contact with our partners,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian foreign and defence ministers.

The agreement, which was previously announced by Turkey, was detailed in three documents, Putin said.

“The first was signed by the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition to stop hostilities in the territory of Syria. The second one was a set of measures to control the ceasefire. The third document was a declaration of intention for Syrian settlement,” the Russian President said.

The truce was supported by seven major armed opposition groups that have over 60,000 fighters in their ranks, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said.

He added that if the agreement holds, it would allow Russia to scale down its military presence in Syria.

Putin said that such a pullout would not mean a stop to Russia’s international anti-terrorist effort.

He added that he will contact his Iranian and Turkish counterparts to discuss further steps in the Syrian peace process.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the three nations were preparing a meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan to pave the way for peace talks on Syria.

Ankara has called on all parties that can exert influence on armed groups to support the ceasefire deal.

Damascus has confirmed that it will observe the ceasefire starting December 30 midnight.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that Turkey and Russia will act as guarantors of the truce, which does not include groups designated as terrorists by the UN.

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PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti released from detention after 14 months

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Jammu, 13 Oct : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday released from detention. “PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is being released from detention,” said Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

A government order issued on Tuesday night said her detention was being revoked with immediate effect.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration in July had extended her detention by three months under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

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Cinemas, theatres, multiplexes to open with up to 50% seating capacity from Oct 15

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Swimming pools for training of sportspersons to open with SOP from Oct 15

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SAD breaks alliance with BJP Leaves NDA in protest against farmers ordinance

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Chandigarh, 26 Sep : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has severed its alliance with the BJP. The Akali Dal had a 22-year-old alliance with the BJP.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the Akali Dal’s Kaur Committee which lasted for more than four hours today. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal addressed the press after the meeting and announced that he would no longer be a part of BJP-NDA.

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