Putin expects truce to lead to settlement in Syria

Moscow, April 14 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday voiced hope that the current ceasefire in Syria will lead to a political settlement in the war-torn country.

“We are expecting the cessation of hostilities from both sides to lead to pacification. It is necessary to adopt a constitution, hold early elections and resolve the crisis by these means,” Xinhua news agency quoted Putin as saying during his annual live phone-in.

The Syrian army was capable of launching offensive operations with the help of Russia’s remaining forces in the country, Putin said.

A tentative truce has largely been held since conflicting parties in Syria ceased hostilities in late February, under the auspices of Russia and the US.

This is Putin’s 14th Question and Answer session, dubbed “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin,” which was launched in 2001 and held annually with exceptions only in 2004 and 2012.

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