Syria gives initiative to settle Aleppo war deadlock

Syria gives initiative to settle Aleppo war deadlock
Fri Jan 17, 2014 15:35:52

Syria has given Russia a plan for a ceasefire in the northwestern city of Aleppo, one of the main parts of the Arab country most suffered by militants’ occupation.

During a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said, “I count on the success of this plan if all sides carry out their obligations,” stressing, “We would like this to serve as an example to other towns.”

Aleppo has been one of the main bastions of militant groups, especially Saudi-backed militants, that have been occupying many parts of the vast province for more than a year.

People have been suffering from shortage of food and medicine as basic humanitarian supplies have been scares for months.

There are even two towns in Aleppo, Nubbul and al-Zahra, which are living with rockets and bombs pointed at them. The militants occupying the town have threatened earlier this month to bomb both towns if the Syrian army got a step further toward their bases.

The top Syrian diplomat also expressed his country’s readiness for an exchange of prisoners with militants operating inside Syria as part of the truce proposal.

Muallem made the remarks ahead of a peace conference, dubbed Geneva II, which is scheduled to open in the Swiss city of Montreux, near Geneva, on January 22. The international event is designed to end nearly three years of bloodshed in Syria.

Muallem further slammed the US double standards towards the issue of terrorism, saying Washington condemns the role of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) inside Iraq, while it “encourages” the same type of “terrorists” operating against Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, stated the process of annihilating Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is going ahead successfully despite some pressures.

“We have agreed today…to observe the approved approximate deadlines of the accomplishment of this task, naturally, with appropriate security measures and resolution of all logistical problems,” he added.

Lavrov, further criticized the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) for delaying their decision for participation in the forthcoming Geneva II talks, saying the delay is “going beyond the limits of what is reasonable.”

He stressed, “The main reason [for the delay] is internal conflicts between various coalition groups, which are supported by various external sponsors, not a desire to be better prepared for the conference.”

SHI/SHI

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