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Russia and US ‘close to deal on Aleppo ceasefire’

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Russia is close to reaching a deal with the United States on a ceasefire for the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, a Russian deputy foreign minister has said.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia have rejected previous calls for a truce for the war-torn city, keeping up the military offensive that has squeezed and forced rebels to retreat in several areas.

Russian news agencies on Thursday quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying that Moscow and Washington are “close to reaching an understanding” on Aleppo but warned against “high expectations”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Germany on Wednesday but did not release any statements.

Mr Ryabkov said the Kerry-Lavrov talks were extensive but that a final deal has not yet been worked out.

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