February 23, 2016 / 11:24 AM / 3 years ago

Turkey welcomes Syria plan but not optimistic on peace talks: deputy PM

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu looks on as he attends a news conference after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Arseny Yatseniuk in Kiev, Ukraine February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey welcomes plans for a halt to fighting in Syria but is not optimistic about a positive outcome to talks on a political transition, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Tuesday.

Kurtulmus said Ankara had reservations concerning actions which Russian forces could take against Syria’s moderate opposition and civilians.

The United States and Russia announced plans for a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria that would take effect on Saturday but exclude groups such as Islamic State and al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, a loophole Syrian rebels immediately highlighted as a problem.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall

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