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Putin says Assad, Iran, Turkey agree on Astana as venue for Syria talks

MOSCOW President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had all agreed that the Kazakh capital of Astana should be the venue for new Syrian peace talks.

Russia, Iran and Turkey held talks in Moscow on Tuesday after which they said they were ready to help broker a Syrian peace deal.

Putin has proposed holding the negotiations in Kazakhstan, a close Russian ally.

On Friday, Putin said that the evacuation of Aleppo would not have been possible without the help of Russia, Iran and Turkey or the good will of Assad.

The next step for Syria would be a nationwide ceasefire, he said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said earlier on Friday he expected the talks in Astana to take place in the middle of January.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, Vladimir Soldatkin and Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Peter Hobson; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

-Reuters