Assad Calls for Parliament Elections in April

BEIRUT (AP) -

Syrian President Bashar Assad has called for parliamentary elections to be held in April.

A U.N. Security Council resolution adopted in December calls for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held during an 18-month transition period that would end the five-year-old conflict in Syria.

But the country was due for parliamentary elections anyway, as the current parliament’s term expires in May. Assad announced in a decree issued Monday that new elections for parliament would be April 13. Such elections are held once every four years.

The announcement came hours after the U.S. and Russia agreed on a temporary cessation of hostilities for Syria that will take effect Saturday, even as major questions over enforcing the truce were left unresolved.