MIDDLE EAST

Vienna talks: Ceasefire agreement reached in eastern Ghouta

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura before the start of talks with a eam headed by Syrian chief negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari, in Vienna, on Jan. 25, 2018. (AP)

Syrian negotiations in Vienna, between the opposition and the Syrian regime reached an agreement on Friday to ceasefire in Al-Ghouta Al-Sharqiya (eastern Ghouta) by 12 pm Damascus time.

The regime and the opposition agreed to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged areas and to conduct an exchange of detainees.

Earlier, the delegation of the Syrian regime had refused to enter into negotiations with the opposition on Thursday, and accused international envoy Staffan de Mistura of not being neutral.

While it was reported that De Mistura was not satisfied with the Russian move, especially as he considered that the Russian side did not put enough pressure on the Syrian regime to take part in the negotiations.

The meeting between De Mistura and the Russian Foreign Ministry representative with regard to Sochi was not positive at all.

Sources pointed out that the Syrian regime reduced its representation at Sochi talks, in a move that may be interpreted as "overthrowing" the conference from the ground up.

Earlier, before the new agreement was announced on Friday night, Bashar al-Zu'bi, representative of the military factions in the talks, said no progress had been made on the second day of the talks, which began on Thursday, and the Russians failed to bring order to the negotiating table.

When asked about the outcome of the meetings between the opposition and a number of international officials, al-Zu'bi said that all these meetings came to reveal to the parties concerned to resolve the Syrian crisis, was the reality of the Syrian regime and its inflexible stance.

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Last Update: Friday, 26 January 2018 KSA 20:34 - GMT 17:34
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