Issue of Detainees in Assad’s Prisons Dominates 8th Astana Talks
The delegation of the Syrian armed opposition on Thursday held a meeting with a UN technical team at the opening of the eighth round of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana. The delegation discussed the issue of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime with the UN team.
In a statement, the delegation said that the aim of their participation in the current round of talks in Astana is to ensure the release of detainees, the consolidation of ceasefire, especially in the ‘de-escalation zones,’ the lifting of all sieges imposed on the liberated areas, and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.
The delegation emphasized that it gave priority to the issue of detainees, noting that discussion with the Russian side will focus primarily on this issue.
The Assad regime’s refusal of to release detainees violates UN Security Council resolutions, most notably the humanitarian provisions contained in resolution 2254, the delegation said. It called on Russia to assume its role as a responsible guarantor of the Assad regime.
The statement stressed that regime forces and the Iranian-backed foreign militias did not abide by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement, adding that crimes continue to be committed against civilians in besieged eastern Gouta and in Idlib province.
The behavior of the Assad regime’s delegation during the latest round of talks in Geneva clearly showed that it did not have the slightest intention to abide by international resolutions, the statement went on. It stressed that the Russian side is required more than ever to exert pressure the Assad regime to force it to agree to a political solution. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)