Syria opposition meets in Riyadh to discuss truce
Iran Press TV
Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:18PM
A Saudi-backed opposition group in Syria has held a meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to discuss a ceasefire plan for the conflict-hit Arab country.
Monzer Makhous, the spokesman for the so-called opposition group known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), said that the group held a meeting on Monday.
He added that the meeting is anticipated to continue until Thursday and the participants planned to discuss developments since the UN-brokered talks over Syria's crisis halted earlier this month.
This came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry said following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Jordanian capital, Amman, that both sides struck a provisional deal on terms of cessation of hostilities in Syria.
Russia will speak to the Syrian government and Iran, and the US will speak to the Syrian opposition and its partners, Kerry said.
On February 12, diplomats from the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) agreed to seek a temporary 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria. The ISSG also agreed to 'accelerate and expand' deliveries of humanitarian aid to various besieged Syrian towns.
On Saturday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that he was ready for a ceasefire to end the five-year-long bloodshed in the country, provided that foreign-backed terrorists did not use a let-up in fighting to their advantage and that countries backing them halted their support.
Syria accuses Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar of funding and arming terrorist groups operating inside the country, including Daesh Takfiri group.
The opposition also said that it would accept a ceasefire if Russia stopped its airstrikes on Takfiri targets.
The ISSG agreement also called on the Syrian government and the opposition group to resume the UN-led peace talks that collapsed on February 3 after the HNC refused to attend the talks.
The talks were scheduled to begin on February 25. But UN envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said the resumption of talks is "unrealistic."
Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people.
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