07:20 GMT +314 December 2017
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    Pro-government supporters wave the Russian national flag and pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad, as gathering at the Saadallah al-Jabiri Square in Aleppo, Syria, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

    Syrian Peace Settlement: UN Appreciates Russia's Efforts on Reconciliation

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    The Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation has reported that an agreement has been reached to respect the ceasefire regime and to ensure the safe passage of another UN humanitarian convoy to the East Ghouta de-escalation zone during talks with the armed opposition.

    "As part of the preparation for the next series of humanitarian convoys to the settlements of the East Ghouta district, the leadership of the Reconciliation Center conducted phone negotiations with the leaders of the armed opposition," the center said in a statement, stressing that "an agreement was reached on observing the ceasefire regime and ensuring the security of the next UN humanitarian convoy to East Ghouta."

    In addition, Russian military officials have noted that the US, despite existing accords, has not sent its approval to the United Nations on the supply of humanitarian aid to the Al-Rukban refugee camp.

    "The leadership of the Center for Syrian Reconciliation continues its activities aimed at deliveries of the humanitarian aid to the Al-Rukban refugee camp… Despite the agreements reached before with the leadership of the US military contingent based in At Tanf, the US side has not sent its approval to the United Nations in line with the prescribed procedure that hinders the beginning of practical steps to prepare humanitarian convoys," the statement said.

    Syrian Opposition Elects Its Leader Ahead of Geneva Talks

    Participants of the recent Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh have determined the composition of the unified delegation at the Geneva talks, Firas Khalidi, a member of the Cairo platform, told Sputnik on Friday.

    According to Khalidi, the delegation will comprise 36 people. The list includes eight envoys from the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, eight representatives from the armed opposition, four envoys from Cairo and Moscow platforms each, Khalidi said.

    Firas Khalidi added that envoys have also elected Syria's main opposition High Negotiations Committee leader Nasr Hariri to head a unified delegation at the upcoming round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva. Hariri led a delegation of the Saudi-backed opposition HNC at the previous round of Geneva talks this summer.

    Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura will continue keeping a close watch on the issues related to the settlement of the Syrian conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said in a statement.

    "During the meeting Lavrov informed [de Mistura] about the recent international contacts held by the Russian side on the Syrian agenda, including about the outcome of the trilateral meeting between Iran, Russia and Turkey in Sochi on November 22 that has supported the convocation of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress… It has been agreed to continue maintaining close contact on the entire range of issues of Syrian settlement," the statement said, following the Moscow's meeting of top diplomats. 

    The statement stressed that the UN official had highly appreciated Russia's efforts aimed at Syrian reconciliation.

    Syria has been engulfed in a civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and terrorist groups. The international community, including Russia, has taken a number of steps aimed to settle the crisis, including via talks in Geneva and Astana.

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    convocation, Al-Rukban, armed opposition, Geneva talks, safety, refugee, reconciliation, peace, negotiations, ceasefire, settlement, humanitarian aid, security, diplomacy, opposition, Syrian National Dialogue Congress, Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC), National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, UN, Firas Khalidi, Nasr Hariri, Staffan de Mistura, Sergei Lavrov, East Ghouta, Syria, Russia, Riyadh
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