The Latest: Syria cease-fire goes into effect Sunday – McClatchy Washington Bureau

The Latest on an agreement for a cease-fire in southwest Syria reached by the U.S. and Russia (all times local):

3:30 a.m.

The Syria cease-fire that the United States and Russia have agreed upon goes into effect Sunday at noon Damascus time.

That’s according to U.S. officials and the Jordanian government, which is also involved in the deal. The U.S. officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.

The former Cold War foes have been backing opposing sides in Syria’s war. Moscow has staunchly backed Syrian President Bashar Assad, supporting Syrian forces militarily since 2015. Washington has backed rebels fighting Assad.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the cease-fire in southwest Syria is designed to reduce violence in an area near Jordan’s border that is critical to that U.S. ally’s security.

— By Josh Lederman

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2:15 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the agreement with Russia on a cease-fire in Syria is “our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together” there.

Tillerson discussed the nearly 2½-hour meeting Friday between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, saying they talked about the current nature of relations between the two countries as well as the future of that relationship.

The area covered by the cease-fire affects Jordan’s security and what Tillerson calls a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.

For years, the U.S. and Russia have been backing opposing sides in Syria’s war, with Moscow supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and Washington supporting rebels who have been fighting Assad. Both oppose the Islamic State group in Syria.

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2:10 p.m.

Russia’s foreign minister says his country’s military police will monitor a cease-fire in southwestern Syria.

Sergey Lavrov spoke to reporters after talks between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Lavrov, described the nearly 2½ hours talks as “very constructive.” He says they touched on cybersecurity, Ukraine, North Korea and other issues.

Lavrov says Trump has accepted Putin’s assurances that Moscow hasn’t meddled in the U.S. presidential election. The two leaders agreed to set up a working group on cybersecurity.

Under the cease-fire deal brokered by Russia, the U.S. and Jordan, Moscow and Washington will ensure the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access beginning Sunday.

A monitoring center for the deal will be set up in Jordan, and the Russian military police will ensure its implementation.

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12:01 p.m.

U.S. officials say the United States and Russia have reached an agreement for a cease-fire in southwest Syria.

The cease-fire is set to take effect July 9 at noon Damascus time. Word of the cease-fire has emerged as President Donald Trump is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the cease-fire publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The deal marks a new level of involvement for the U.S. in trying to resolve Syria’s civil war.

A separate deal to create “de-escalation zones” was brokered Russia, Turkey and Iran, but not the U.S. Follow-up talks this week in Kazakhstan to finalize a cease-fire in those zones failed to reach a deal.

The U.S. and Russia have been backing opposing sides in Syria’s war.

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