Fighting broke out east of Damascus between rebel and government forces Wednesday for the first time since both sides declared a cease-fire at the weekend, an activist group said, with airstrikes also hitting the besieged, rebel-controlled enclave.
After a successful demarcating the safe zone in Eastern Ghouta by Russia’s military and Syria’s rebel groups near Damascus, a joint checkpoint manned by Russian and Syrian military personnel has opened there.
The Syrian opposition should renounce ultimatums and preconditions at the negotiations in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday following talks with his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders.
The head of the main opposition delegation at ongoing Syria talks in Geneva on Wednesday called on the UN to put pressure on the Damascus regime following its “refusal” to join in negotiations.
Second and last day of the fifth international meeting on Syria in Astana has kicked off Wednesday with bilateral meetings between the participating delegations.
Syria’s armed opposition members, including representatives of the Northern and Southern fronts, take part in the second day of talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Anuar Zhainakov said on Wednesday.
Syrian opposition group Syria’s Tomorrow is placing great expectations on Russia’s role in intra-Syrian dialogue that would include opposition and the government, Ahmad Jarba, the group’s leader, said Thursday at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The progress of the Astana talks on the Syrian settlement may be threatened by states cutting off diplomatic relations with Qatar, depending on Turkey and Iran’s involvement in this diplomatic standoff, Tarek Ahmad, a member of the Damascus Platform opposition group and a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) said.
The Damascus delegation is ready to take part in the next round of talks on the Syrian crisis resolution, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad said on the sidelines of the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday.