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MILITARY/RUSSIA/SYRIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TURKEY: “A ceasefire in northeast Syria seems to be holding ‘by and large’, as major powers gather in Geneva ahead of the first meeting of Syria’s Constitutional Committee next week, the U.N. Special Envoy told Reuters on Thursday [10-24-19]. Geir Pedersen said that envoys from 7 Arab and Western states backing the opposition, known as the ‘small group’, which includes the United States, are due to meet in the Swiss city on Friday [10-25-19]. Senior officials from the so-called Astana three – Russia, Iran and Turkey – were expected in coming days, but he awaited confirmation. The major powers would not participate directly in the ‘Syrian-owned, Syrian-led’ constitutional effort, or the opening public ceremony, but they supported the process, he said. Talks are on track despite Turkey’s cross-border offensive launched on Oct. 9 after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. forces out of northeast Syria.”

Stephanie Nebehay, “Syria ceasefire holding ahead of Constitutional Committee: U.N. envoy tells Reuters,” Reuters, October 24, 2019 9:55 am