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Syrian opposition at home welcomes Brahimi's cease-fire proposal

10-21-2012 06:33 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

DAMASCUS, Oct.20 (Xinhua) -- A number of leading Syrian opposition figures at home welcomed on Saturday the cease-fire proposal put forward by the UN-Arab League(AL) joint envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who has recently called for a halt of fighting in Syria during the upcoming four-day Muslims holiday of Eid al-Adha.

"Of course we welcome the initiative," said Hasan Abdul-Azim, the head of the oppositional National Coordination Body after his meeting Saturday afternoon with Brahimi, who flew in a day earlier for a four-day visit.

Abdul-Azim appeared optimistic about the cease-fire call due to the ostensible international consensus in that regard.

"This initiative is sponsored by Lakhdar Brahimi and it is accepted by Arab, regional and international countries. It could succeed," he said, adding that "Syria has reached to a dangerous level of violence which poses a threat to its independence. Hence both the regime and the other parties are now convinced about the necessity of cease-fire and a transitional process that could transit Syria to a civil and democratic state."

Another opponent, Mohammad Mouri, said that he had discussed with Brahimi the seriousness of the cease-fire, noting that the importance of the new initiative comes from the acceptance it enjoys from the influential regional and international countries.

He also said that he had brought up the issue of the opinion prisoners and the necessity of setting them free as well as providing more support for the battered areas across the country in order to facilitate the return of the displaced people.

Mouri hoped the cease-fire would hold during the Eid and said that it should continue permanently even after the holiday.

Abdul-Aziz Khair, meanwhile, said that Ibrahimi has a good impression and "there is seriousness and a progress." He highlighted the international consensus about the cease-fire call and said that such consensus means that there is a new progress.

On Friday, UN and AL leaders called for a brief cease-fire in Syria during the upcoming Islamic festival.

"The secretaries-general of the United Nationsand of the League of Arab States appeal to all warring parties in Syria to heed the call of ... Brahimi for a ceasefire and a cessation of all violence in all its forms during the period of Eid al-Adha, to allow the Syrian people to observe this important religious holiday in peace and security," said a joint statement read out to the press by UN chief Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

In their joint statement, the two leaders also called on all regional and international actors to support their appeal, adding that such a step needs to be sustained.

"It could create the space to allow a peaceful political process that realizes the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for democracy, equality and justice," said the statement.

"The longer the violence lasts, the more difficult it will be to find a political solution and rebuild Syria," it added.

The Syrian government said earlier that it is interested in exploring a cease-fire in the 19-month violence as proposed by Brahimi, but insisted on commitment and cooperation of the other party in the conflict.

Reportedly, the head of the broad-based opposition group Syrian National Council (SNC), Abdelbaset Sieda, also welcomed the proposed truce.

However, previous appeals for a cease-fire had been rendered useless as violent clashes were fast to re-ignite on the ground with both conflicting parties blaming each other for the faltering pacification.

Meanwhile, the joint envoy also met Saturday with the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, during which they discussed the results of Brahimi's regional tour that aimed to garner support for a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.

A foreign ministry statement said that the discussions were " constructive and serious," adding that both sides discussed ways of facilitating Brahimi's mission in Syria.

It also said that the discussions touched upon the obstacles that are hindering Brahimi's mission through arming and financing that armed rebels.

The two sides also discussed the conditions for halting violence proposed by all parties in order to pave the way for an inclusive dialogue between the Syrians, the statement said.

Brahimi, the veteran Algerian troubleshooter, has shuttled between numbers of influential regional countries to delineate a full vision before putting forth any proposal to end the prolonged violence in Syria.

As the hopes seem high for a near cease-fire, violence was reported in a number of Syrian cities on Saturday with unabated clashes between the government troops and the armed rebels.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported chaos and fights in many hotspots nationwide and placed the death toll at 110 people, 27 of whom were unarmed civilians, including five children.

It said the toll also includes 37 Syrian troops. But the account was impossible of being checked independently.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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