The delegation of the armed opposition groups on Friday held a number of meetings with delegations of active parties in the Kazakh capital Astana and stressed the need to achieve real progress on the issue of detainees in the prisons of the Assad regime.
The armed opposition’s delegation met with Turkish, Russian and US delegations and discussed with them the release of detainees, the consolidation of the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement, and the need to exercise pressure on the Assad regime to stop violations of the agreement.
Head of the armed opposition’s delegation, Ahmed Tomah, said that their primary focus was on making real progress on the issue of detainees. “Our number one priority is the issue of detainees. The agreement that was reached on this issue needs to be activated and must remain the focus of the current round of talks.”
Tomah called for exerting pressure on the Assad regime and its guarantors to force it to “fully abide by the de-escalation zones agreement, especially in Idlib province and eastern Ghouta near Damascus.” He noted that the agreement is mainly related to the safety and security of millions of Syrians.
The delegation presented the Russian delegation with a memorandum detailing the regime’s violations of the ‘de-escalation zones agreement’ since it went into force. The delegation called on Moscow to exert the necessary pressure to force the Assad regime to fully abide with the agreement.
The delegation also pointed out that the Assad regime had facilitated the withdrawal of ISIS militants from Aqiribat area in eastern rural Hama towards Idlib province. They demanded the launch of a serious investigation into this move which has exposed the Assad regime’s direct complicity and collusion with ISIS.
Head of the Turkish delegation to the Astana talks Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal expressed his displeasure at the Assad regime’s ongoing violations of the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement. He stressed that that he conveyed these violations to guarantors of the Assad regime and said he wound press towards ending this tragedy. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)