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Syria declares ceasefire proposal as goodwill sign

English.news.cn   2014-01-19 02:55:21

DAMASCUS, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The ceasefire proposal declared by Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem is seen by local analysts and experts as the government's goodwill sign ahead of the upcoming peace talks in Geneva, better known as Geneva II conference on Syria's crisis.

"The ceasefire announcement by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem is an initiative of goodwill to test the ability of public opinion and the Geneva II conference on curbing the terrorism," Fayez al-Sayegh, a Syrian Parliamentarian, told Xinhua Saturday during the Syrian National Forum, which was held in the capital Damascus, to express support to the political solution in Syria.

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Friday informed Moscow of a security plan regarding a ceasefire and a possible prison swap with the rebel groups in the northern province of Aleppo, a move seen by observers as the keyword for holding the Geneva II peace conference, which will open on Jan. 22 in Switzerland.

Aleppo has emerged as a main battleground between the rebels and the government troops and a ceasefire in that intense area could be the base for a broader ceasefire in Syria, analysts said.

Moallem said Damascus handed over a plan of "security arrangements" to Moscow out of his nation's "trust in Russia," adding that he had urged Russia's Foreign Minister Sergery Lavrov to start contacts with other parties in order to set a date for a ceasefire in Aleppo and a possible prisoner swap with the opposition fighters.

Sayegh, the Parliamentarian, said the government's initiative is "for the political parties that have sway on ground to respond positively to this endeavor."

He, however, noted that the armed rebels may not be able to establish a ceasefire, due to their fraction and lack of central leadership.

Several previous attempts to establish a ceasefire in Syria had failed with each party of the conflict blaming the other.

Maher Murhej, the head of the Syrian Youth Party, told Xinhua in an interview Saturday that the government's endeavor bodes well for the Geneva II conference, expressing skepticism regarding the rebels' ability to live up to the government's commitment.

Barwin Ibrahim, another opposition figure, also voiced other analysts' skepticism about the rebels' ability to ceasefire.

She told Xinhua that the ceasefire "relies largely on the rebel groups, because the Syrian government can order the Syrian troops to halt the operations but the militant groups can't do that because they consist of numerous groups, factions, and battalions, so they don't have a leader that could order a ceasefire."

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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