In Syria Merkel, Hollande urge Putin to push for ceasefire

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Smoke rises from buildings following air strikes on Damascus' rebel-held eastern suburb of Zamalka on October 12, 2016 play

Smoke rises from buildings following air strikes on Damascus' rebel-held eastern suburb of Zamalka on October 12, 2016

(AFP)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone call Wednesday to push for a ceasefire in Syria, sources in the French presidency said.

Hollande took advantage of a three-way conversation on the conflict in Ukraine to "reiterate his position on the urgency of a ceasefire and access to humanitarian aid in Syria," the sources said, adding that he was "clearly supported by the chancellor."

The phone talks came a day after Putin called off a planned visit to Paris in a row over Syria, where Moscow is backing a regime onslaught on the battered city of Aleppo.

Putin had been due to inaugurate a spiritual centre next to a new Russian Orthodox church in Paris, but Hollande insisted his Russian counterpart should also take part in talks with him about Syria.

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