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Syria speeds up reconciliation efforts at home

English.news.cn   2014-02-03 21:39:32

DAMASCUS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government, discouraged by slow-paced international efforts to bring about a political solution to a three-year crisis in the country, has chosen another route to solve the crisis by reaching out to opposition fighters battling it on the ground.

Syria has repeatedly confirmed that it seeks to make national reconciliation efforts a success and has already made strides in bringing about security and safety to several areas in the capital and its suburbs, enabling displaced families to return home.

"The government is working at more than one level to get out of the crisis that has exhausted all parties... It's spreading its wing to cover gunmen once battered by them," said Ali Deeb, a political analyst, raising prospects that reconciliation will be the best solution amid the foundering international drives.

Syria participated recently in the Geneva II conference and announced that it was ready to discuss all contentious issues with the opposition.

At home, the Syrian government opted to reach out to opposition fighters in yet another effort to alleviate the suffering of displaced families, and as a step toward a permanent settlement to the crisis.

During a meeting on Sunday with the National Reconciliation Committee at the Syrian Parliament, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al- Halqi said the government is striving earnestly to achieve a national reconciliation, with such efforts ongoing even when the government delegation was in Geneva.

"National dialogue and national reconciliations that are steadily moving are the only way out of the crisis," al-Halqi said. "The accelerating pace of reconciliations among the homeland's sons has annoyed those who are betting on the continuity of the Syrian crisis."

Participants at the meeting between al-Halqi and the National Reconciliation Committee discussed measures facilitating a national reconciliation.

On Sunday, dozens of Syrian families returned to al-Moadhamiya, one of Damascus' suburbs sealed off by government troops for months to tighten the noose on gunmen who were entrenching in the city.

Media reports said that two delegations from the armed opposition in the area met on Saturday with the National Reconciliation Committee.

During the meeting, the committee decided to name the gunmen " Popular Defense" groups, and pay them salaries and regular compensation for setting up two joint checkpoints with the army to inspect all cars that enter and leave the area.

Agreements have been reached with armed groups in the Damascus suburbs of Barzeh, al-Qaboun, Beit Sahm and Babilla, and the government is now working to deal with two other hot spots in the countryside of Damascus -- Jouber and Harasta.

The Al-Baath newspaper, of the ruling Baath Party, said on Monday that national reconciliation efforts have made headway in Damascus and its countryside, and that the government is working to extend such efforts to all provinces.

It said that reconciliation is a top priority for the Syrian people, and that several parts of the country have had massive demonstrations in support of the army over the past few days in the face of terror attacks.

While pursuing national reconciliation inside the country, Syria has also stepped up cooperation with humanitarian organizations to help the afflicted people.

On Sunday, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) signed an agreement with the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, on implementing humanitarian projects worth more than 17 million U.S dollars in the war-torn Syria, according to a press release made available to Xinhua.

Under the agreement the UNHCR will support all SARC medical units in the capital Damascus, and the provinces of Homs, Tartous, Latakia and Aleppo with medical equipment and medicine.

According to the statement, the UNHCR will deliver aid rations to more than 5 million afflicted people nationwide through SARC and other non-governmental organizations.

The nearly three-year-old civil war has left 9.3 million people within Syria, and more than 2 million others outside the country, in need of humanitarian assistance.

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Editor: Hou Qiang
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