Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that next phase would be a test of the seriousness of Russia and the Assad regime in implementing the ceasefire agreement.
In an interview with Al Jazeera English television early Tuesday, Davutoglu said he was not “optimistic” because until now the Assad regime, Russia and Iran have only abused the negotiation process.
“I have to be frank. If they continue to have same attitude talking [to] one side to gain time and attacking civilians and Syrian people on the other side, this initiative cannot be successful. If they are serious, we will see,” Davutoglu added.
Echoing the Turkish premier’s remarks, Riad Hijab, general coordinator of the opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), cast doubt about the willingness of the Assad regime and its allies to observe the ceasefire agreement as Assad’s survival in power depends on repression, murder and the displacement of Syrian civilians.
Commenting on the ceasefire agreement, Hijab said: “Our position is clear. We act in accordance with the Munich agreement and the mandate granted to us by the HNC’s members. Before formally responding to the ceasefire agreement announced yesterday, we will discuss it with the HNC’s components and consult with our friends.”
Hijab reiterated commitment to the success of international efforts dedicated to stop the bloodshed in Syria and to bring all parties to the negotiating table. His remarks followed an emergency HNC meeting in Riyadh yesterday to discuss the possibility of reaching a temporary truce agreement in Syria.
Hijab said the committee had agreed to the “possibility” of a temporary truce, provided there were guarantees Assad’s allies including Russia would implement the ceasefire, lift sieges, release detainees and allow aid deliveries across the country. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)