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Syrian gov't demands written guarantees ahead of ceasefire

04-09-2012 13:25 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

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As the deadline for the UN-brokered cease-fire approaches, the Syrian government has demanded new conditions. It’s calling for written guarantees from opposition groups they will end violence and to lay down their weapons. Syria is also seeking guarantees that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will not fund the armed groups.

The six-point deal, brokered by UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, is due to come into effect. It calls for Syrian government forces to withdraw from population centers by Tuesday, to be followed by a full cease-fire by both sides by 6 a.m. Thursday.

But Syria on Sunday demanded written guarantees oppositions will stop fighting before it pulls back troops under the UN peace plan. Some opposition members, however, say the initiative is doomed.

Mahmoud Marai from Syrian National Coordination Committee said, "The government wants to clear armed militants before the deadline of ceasefire, and the strongholds of the Free Syrian Army. Meanwhile, the opositions also want to undermine the government’s strength to a large extent."

An offical from the Syrian Foreign Ministry says Syria will not allow a repeat of what happened in January. When Assad pulled back his armed forces from cities and their surroundings, only to see opposition groups flood the areas vacated by government troops. A senator also expressed the same concern.

George Jabari, Syrian senate, said, "If the government forces retreat from certain areas, the opposition groups will use this to rearm its elements and threaten the safety of citizens. The government should take measures to protect their safety."

Video posted on social media websites purports to show heavy shelling in neighbourhoods in Homs ahead of the ceasefire. Kofi Annan says the latest bloodshed violates the guarantees he has been given and is urging Damascus to keep its promises.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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