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UN envoy and Syrian government agree to send fact-finding mission to Aleppo


DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria's state news agency says the government and the U.N. special envoy have agreed to send a fact-finding mission to the contested northern city of Aleppo.

SANA said late Saturday the decision was made after talks in Damascus between Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura. It did not say when the U.N. team would begin its work in Aleppo.

De Mistura is trying to implement a "freeze" in fighting in the city, which is divided into government- and rebel-held areas. He envisions a local truce as the first step toward a wider easing of hostilities.

The Syrian government has agreed to suspend airstrikes and artillery shelling in Aleppo for six weeks. The U.N. envoy still needs the armed opposition's support for the plan.

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