27 December 2013, 18:49

Moscow favors practice of local truce in Syria

Moscow favors practice of local truce in Syria

Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman to the Russian Foreign Ministry, has spoken out in favor of a local truce practice between government and opposition groups in Syria, indicating its importance ahead of the Geneva-2 peace conference.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday that "over the last few days, new, still fragile but promising from the humanitarian point of view episodes took place in the situation unfolding in the world".

Thus, between opposition militants and government forces, blocking off the opposition-occupied city of Maadamiya near Damascus, an agreement on a local truce was reached. In compliance with the agreement, the parties ceased fire. The rebels raised official Syrian flags and promised to hand over all the weapons they possess, except for small arms. In response, the authorities assured they would allow food supplies and other humanitarian aid to be handed over to people in the besieged city and obliged not to carry out clean-ups and grant getting in and out of the city without any limitations in future.

"In spite of incoming information that the promise to cease fire in Maadamiya is being broken, we believe that a practice of a local truce may and must be continued," the spokesman’s statement says.

The statement also stresses that "it’s especially important ahead of the international Geneva-2 conference, meant for shifting the situation in Syria from confrontation to a peaceful dialogue and settling.

"We need to encourage the parties of the conflict in Syria to act, if it’s possible, in this way, trying to put an end to violence and reach agreements both for the sake of humanitarian aspects and for the purpose of creating a proper environment enabling a stable process of political settling in Syria," the statement adds.

Voice of Russia, Interfax

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