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Russia aided Syria ceasefire claims Alfano

Russia aided Syria ceasefire claims Alfano

Italy's foreign minster Angelino Alfano on Friday paid tribute to the role Russia has played in the longest ceasefire to date in war-wracked Syria.

"In Syria, Russia's action and that of other international actors has brought about the longest truce yet seen at a time when talks in Geneva were unable to achieve this," Alfano said.

"The Astana process should consolidate that ceasefire but the political process should be completed in Geneva to completely stabilise Syria," he told the Transatlantic Forum on Russia in Rome on Friday.

"The country's destiny must be put in the hands of the Syrian people through a process of transition that can only end in free elections."

Russia has supported the government of Syria's authoritarian president Bashar al-Assad since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011: politically, with military aid, and since 30 September 2015 also through direct military involvement.

It has brokered ceasefires in several areas of Syria since last July.