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    A state flag of the Syrian Arab Republic by an Orthodox church in an old Christian block of Aleppo, Syria

    Space for Dialogue in Syria Expands as New Armed Groups Join Truce - Senator

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    New opportunities for dialogue on Syria peace settlement emerge as new armed groups join the ceasefire regime, Konstantin Kosachev, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian upper house of parliament, said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He added that the ceasefire in Syria was generally observed, with no more that 5-10 violations registered per day.

    "Space for dialogue is beginning to increase," Kosachev said at a meeting with the representatives of Syria's opposition and civil society noting the increasing number of armed groups respecting the truce.

    The nationwide ceasefire in Syria backed by Russia and Turkey came into effect on December 30 and was later supported by a UN Security Council resolution. Russia and Turkey are monitoring and registering violations of the truce on a daily basis.

    Russia's draft of the Syrian constitution should become a stimulus for the development of the country's new basic law, though, Moscow is not trying to fasten its concept to Syria, Kosachev said.

    "[Russian delegation head at Astana talks Alexander] Lavrentyev clearly said that we were not trying to fasten this project, but presenting it as a positive contribution, gesture of goodwill. The development of the new Syrian constitution should begin someday. All means are good for this — any project with any concept may become an additional stimulus and trigger to launch this process on the intra-Syrian basis," Kosachev told reporters.

    The new draft Syrian constitution prepared by Russian experts was presented to the Syrian opposition by the Russian delegation during the Astana talks earlier this week. Lavrentyev underlined on Tuesday that Russia was not interfering in consideration of constitution and presented the draft to the opposition simply in order to accelerate the process.

    Kosachev did not specify, who was engaged in the development of this project, though, welcomed the initiative.

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    constitution, Konstantin Kosachev, Syria, Russia
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