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Putin Intervenes To Effect Two Ceasefires

Jan. 12, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin has intervened twice to negotiate ceasefires in the past 72 hours, in Libya and Idlib, Syria, as he strives to pull the world back from the brink of war.

On Jan. 8, Putin met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul to inaugurate the new TurkStream pipeline. Putin and Erdogan also discussed Libya and Syria, especially since Putin had made an unannounced stop in Damascus on Jan. 7 where he met with President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency reported Jan. 12 that the acceptance for a ceasefire in Libya “came minutes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, held a telephone conversation” on Jan. 11. The two Presidents had called for the ceasefire in their joint statement on Jan. 8, saying “we have decided to take the initiative and, as intermediaries, call on all parties in Libya to stop hostilities as of 00.00 hours on 12 January, declare a sustainable ceasefire....”

The ceasefire which took hold at 12 midnight Jan. 12 was accepted by both factions: Gen. Khalifa Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army, which was advancing on Tripoli, and Fayez al-Sarraj, the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli.

At the same time, a truce arranged by Putin and Erdogan was accepted and went into effect in Syria’s Idlib Province, between forces of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, and the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat al-Sham and its allies, also taking effect Jan. 12 at 12 midnight. Both the Russian Federation and Turkey are guarantors of the Syria peace process within the Astana Mechanism, and both have been involved in the Idlib fighting, and will be part of the ceasefire.

So far, the two ceasefires have held.

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