Syrian opposition urges major powers for nationwide truce


GENEVA (Reuters) – The main Syrian opposition on Saturday called for major powers to help carry out a nationwide ceasefire in the coming months to pave the way for a political transition after nearly a decade of war.

FILE PHOTO: Hadi al-Bahra, co-chairman of the Syrian opposition, attends the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on October 30, 2019. REUTERS / Dennis Ballethouse

Hadi al-Bahra, the co-opposition to the Constitutional Committee of Syria, was speaking to journalists in Geneva following UN-sponsored talks.

The 45-member committee, made up of representatives from the government, the opposition and civil society, has the mandate to create a new constitution for UN-monitored elections.

United Nations Special Envoy Gaye Pedersen said there were “many areas of disagreement” but also “some areas of generalities”. “My expectation is to keep calm on the ground … we will see some progress as well,” he said in a briefing.

Pedersen, referring to a cease-fire by Turkey and Russia in March in Idlib’s last remaining rebel-organized stronghold in northwest Syria, said it was “by and large a hold” despite the breach.

Bahra said that unless there is a nationwide ceasefire, the political process will come to a standstill.

He said that it was the responsibility of the international community and the countries that supported the warring side to have a full and permanent ceasefire.

“When we see this happen, we will see the political process move faster, because all sides will know that there is no way for them to achieve a final victory on military terms,” ​​he said.

Deaf said that soldiers and Iranian militias from the United States, Russia and Turkey are present in Syria.

He said, ‘They will not allow any one side win. I expect that in the coming months we will all see a full, comprehensive truce through Syria, then we will make more international efforts to move the political process forward more rapidly.

Syrian government co-chairman Ahmed Kuzbari did not speak to reporters. No date has been announced for the next round.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehe; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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