February 24, 2016 / 3:21 PM / 3 years ago

Assad to Putin: Syria ready to help implement cessation of hostilities

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais in Damascus, in this handout picture provided by SANA on February 20, 2016. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russia’s Vladimir Putin in a phone call on Wednesday his government was ready to help implement a cessation of hostilities in Syria.

The two presidents stressed the need to continue fighting Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front as well as “other terrorist groups”, the Syrian president’s official Twitter account said.

The United States and Russia on Monday announced plans for a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria that would take effect on Saturday but exclude groups such as Islamic State and Nusra Front.

Reporting by John Davison and Ali Abdelatti in Cairo; Editing by Alison Williams

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