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    'Hot Heads' Who May Violate Syrian Truce on Each Side - Russian Delegation

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    Syrian Peace Talks in Astana (173)
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    Special representative of the Russian president for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said that there are "hot heads" on each side of the Syrian war who can violate the ceasefire regime.

    ASTANA (Sputnik) — There have been signals that more Syrian armed groups would like to join the talks in Astana, the head of the Russian delegation at the talks in Astana, Alexander Lavrentyev said Tuesday.

    "We have received signals that more and more armed [Syrian] groups are ready to join [the talks]. The joining will of course take place at the Astana site. Naturally, as I said, there will be a joint task force, which will ensure unconditional implementation by these groups, who will sign the agreement, of commitments," Lavrentyev said following the two-day intra-Syrian talks in Kazakh capital, Astana.

    "So we will monitor compliance [with the agreement] by the government troops as well, because there are hot heads on each side. Therefore, they must be controlled, it is necessary to terminate some manifestations, which we will do. Russia is interested in that," he told reporters.

    Russia does makes no distinction between which side to the conflict violates the ceasefire in Syria, he added.

    "If it happens on the part of government forces, then we try as soon as possible to establish the accuracy of this information and take appropriate action." "I can assure you that our military is working in Syria at the moment, doing their utmost to ensure almost complete lack of violations from the government forces’ side."

    "Our military experts, in coordination with all parties, agreed to establish a so-called joint task force in a trilateral format, which will begin work here in Astana in early February. The tasks of the group will relate to the issue of compliance with the regime of cessation of hostilities and prevention of any violations," Lavrentyev told reporters.

    He also said that the work of the group "will if necessary involve representatives of the Syrian armed forces and the Syrian armed opposition."

    "I think it will not only maintain but also strengthen the regime of cessation of hostilities," Lavrentyev explained.

    According to a joint statement of Russia, Iran and Turkey issued following Syrian peace talks in Astana, the countries agreed to create a trilateral group on monitoring the Syrian ceasefire.

    Earlier in the day, a source confirmed earlier media reports to Sputnik that Moscow, Ankara and Tehran will form a mechanism to monitor violations of the truce in the Arab Republic.

    "The negotiations were rather difficult, but nonetheless quite productive, all the efforts exerted for successful conclusion of the event by the Russian side have led to such, we believe, in general, positive results," Lavrentyev told reporters.

    It was possible to establish in Astana direct contact between the Syrian armed opposition and Damascus, it was an example of successful confidence-building measures, the Russian president's special envoy for Syria said.

    "It was possible to sit down to the negotiating table at least the Syrian government delegation and the delegation of the armed opposition, to establish direct contact. It is remarkable. I think it will serve as an example for further confidence-building measures between the two warring parties."

    "The talks were mostly about the regime of cessation of hostilities, development of an algorithm of further actions for all interested parties with the support of the guarantor countries," Lavrentyev told reporters.

    The Syrian armed opposition will arrive in Moscow on Friday to take part in meetings, Alexander Lavrentyev said.

    Russia believes that all opposition delegations that will take part in the Geneva intra-Syria talks should have equal rights and powers, he added.

    The Syria talks were held in Astana on January 23-24. They were initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who proposed establishing in Astana a site of the Syrian peace process in addition to Geneva. The proposal was supported by the presidents of Turkey and Kazakhstan.

    Syrian Peace Talks in Astana (173)


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