Syrian HNC Rejects Local Reconciliation as Substitute for Political Settlement
The Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) opposes local reconciliation deals in the country as a substitute for a political settlement in the country, HNC spokesman Riyad Naasan Agha told Sputnik on Thursday commenting on a Russian proposal on local reconciliation committees.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the Russian reconciliation center proposed to establish local reconciliation committees in Syria's de-escalation zones comprising members of government and armed opposition.
"I personally do not want 'small' [local] reconciliation [agreements] to serve as a substitute for the political settlement which Moscow supports and a guarantor of which it serves," the spokesman said.
Agha stressed the difference between truce, de-escalation and reconciliation.
"We support [the regime] of cessation of hostilities, which are the expression of violence, as well as measures that will ease the suffering of people. At the same time, we support the initiative to deliver humanitarian aid, lift any type of blockade, as well as measures to accelerate negotiations to find a political solution [to the conflict]," the spokesperson pointed out.
Meanwhile, the reconciliation required meeting a number of conditions, including the return of internally displaced persons, release of prisoners and the cancellation of government decisions regarding the confiscation of property of Syrian opposition members, Agha noted.
In May, Iran, Russia and Turkey, the three guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire regime, signed at the Syrian settlement talks in Astana a memorandum on the establishment of de-escalation zones. Specifically, the memo stipulates the creation of four de-escalation zones. As of today, the guarantor states have managed to reach agreements with opposition groups on creating three zones, with the third agreed upon in late July. The consultations on the fourth safe zone in the Idlib province are ongoing.
Syria has been engulfed in a civil war for over six years with the government troops fighting against numerous opposition factions as well as terrorist groups such as Daesh and the Jabhat Fatah al Sham, both outlawed in Russia.
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