ISLAMABAD: In response to a media question regarding the Syrian crisis, the Foreign Office Spokesman said that Pakistan welcomes the agreement reached between Russia and the United States for a nationwide cessation of hostilities to begin in Syria on Saturday.
“Pakistan has always maintained a principled position on Syria based on neutrality, impartiality and respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria. We, however, remain concerned on the humanitarian crisis and the urgent need to address the refugee crisis,” he said.
The spokesperson said: “We also appreciate the efforts of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and sincerely wish for the success of the agreement.”
A landmark UN-backed ceasefire across parts of war-torn Syria held through the night, with residents waking up to calm on Saturday morning.
The northern city of Aleppo, where rebels and the regime typically fire at each other across an active front line, was silent at dawn, according to a journalist there.
Residents said that if the lull in fighting held through the afternoon, they would take their children to small parks in their neighbourhoods.
To the southeast, government forces continued to fight the Islamic State group — which along with other militant groups was excluded from the truce deal agreed by world powers — according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said there were also intermittent clashes in the coastal province of Latakia between government forces and militants.
The central provinces of Homs and Hama, where Russian bombardment had been intense, were largely calm, according Abdel Rahman.
In Damascus, a news correspondents said it was quiet across the city and its eastern suburbs, without the typical sounds of shelling or plumes of smoke.
More than 270,000 people have been killed since Syria’s uprising broke out in March 2011.
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The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily