Agreement reached on ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta in Vienna peace talks

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (C) looks on before the start of talks on Syria in Vienna on January 25, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 26 January 2018
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Agreement reached on ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta in Vienna peace talks

VIENNA: A Syrian opposition spokesman says the opposition and government have signed a cease-fire agreement over the fighting in the suburbs of Damascus.
Ahmad Ramadan says the agreement was signed on Friday, on the second and last day of a UN-mediated round of peace talks in Vienna.
The opposition-held eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus has seen more than two months of heavy fighting since rebels tried to break a strict government blockade that has depleted food and medical supplies for nearly 400,000 people trapped inside.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 286 civilians in eastern Ghouta and Damascus have been killed in shelling and airstrikes in the last month because of the fighting.
Reports suggest agreement was also reached on allowing aid organisations to have access to the most beseiged areas as well as a prisoner exchange.


Turkey says Trump working on extraditing wanted cleric Gulen

Updated 16 December 2018
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Turkey says Trump working on extraditing wanted cleric Gulen

DOHA: US President Donald Trump has told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan that Washington is working on extraditing a US-based Muslim cleric accused of orchestrating a failed Turkish coup in 2016, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Sunday.
“In Argentina, Trump told Erdogan they were working on extraditing (Fethullah) Gulen and other people,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said, referring to the G20 summit where the leaders met two weeks ago.
Turkey has long sought the extradition of Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed US exile for nearly two decades. A former ally of Erdogan, he is blamed by Turkish authorities for the failed coup when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and shot unarmed civilians.
Gulen denies any involvement in the failed putsch.
Erdogan said last week Turkey would start new initiatives abroad to target the financing of Gulen supporters.
“I have recently seen a credible probe by the FBI on how the Gulen organization avoids taxes,” Cavusoglu told a conference in Doha.