04:27 GMT +318 August 2019
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    Smoke rises from a coalition airstrike which attacked an Islamic State position, on the front line on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, Monday, July 17, 2017

    Council of Raqqa Wants to Discuss City Future After Liberation With Russia

    © AP Photo / Hussein Malla
    Middle East
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    The Council of the Syrian province of Raqqa wants to hold a meeting with the Russian side to discuss the future of the eponymous city after liberation from Daesh terrorist group, the council’s deputy head Mohammad Hijazi told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Hijazi said that the council was holding a meeting in Turkey's Gaziantep with representatives of the United States, the Netherlands and Italy on running the province after its liberation from Daesh terrorists.

    "We are holding a meeting in Gazantiep with the Italian and US sides, as well as the Netherlands’ special envoy for Syria … They are proposing to merge two councils in Turkey – [ours] and the Kurdish assembly in Ayn Issa to govern the province of Raqqa, govern the city through creation of police comprising locals, as well as to create a counterterrorism body, also comprising locals," Hijazi said.

    Mohammad Hijazi also said that the Coulcil of Raqqa also hopes to hold a meeting with Russian representative to discuss the same issue.

    "We hope that we will have contact with the Russian side, that we will meet with them in Turkey. There should be diversity, the Russian side is very welcome in our province of Raqqa… I, as deputy head of the council, ask for a meeting with the Russian special envoy or the Russian ambassador," Hijazi said.

    Italy has offered to hold a meeting in Rome in mid-September on the issue of governance of the Syrian city of Raqqa after its liberation from the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia), Raqqa Local Council deputy head Mohammad Hijazi told Sputnik.

    According to Hijazi, the Raqqa council comprises mainly locals. Simultaneously, the Raqqa Civilian Assembly, founded by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is operating in the region.

    "An international conference of two councils will take place in mid-September in Rome. The Italian representative proposed to convene the conference in Italy as it is a neutral territory acceptable for all sides. Italy promised to train [Raqqa] policemen," Hijazi said.

    terrorism, Syrian crisis, Daesh, Raqqa, Europe, Russia
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