syria_war.jpg
Photograph: SANA

Syrian rebels are willing to agree to a temporary truce as long as there are international guarantees that Damascus' allies Russia and Iran will stick to it, the head of the opposition negotiations committee said on Saturday.

The Higher Negotiations Committee would meet on Monday to discuss the proposed ceasefire after rebel representatives gave their "initial approval," a statement from its chairman Riad Hijab said.

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was not itself in a position to sign off on a truce, as it was depending on Russian airstrikes and ground forces from pro-Iranian militias, the statement charged.

It quoted "sources inside the opposition factions" as saying that any agreement would have to go into effect simultaneously on all fronts. It added that a ceasefire must also be accompanied by aid deliveries, the ending of all sieges and the release of prisoners.

A cessation of hostilities by Friday was proposed on February 12 by world powers meeting in Munich, Germany. Part of the plan was also to ensure access for humanitarian aid to besieged areas in Syria.

But there were ongoing clashes, shelling and air raids on Friday, and UN Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura also said that it would not be possible to resume peace talks on February 25 as planned and that more work was needed to prepare for them.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed over telephone the problems in implementing a truce and the possibilities of military coordination, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

During the call Kerry also "restated his deep concern over the indiscriminate nature of continued bombing by Russian military aircraft and the lives being lost as a result," US State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

They also talked about the progress made in humanitarian aid deliveries to besieged areas of the country.

Related stories

Latest news

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.

Trump says he represents America, 'not the globe'

US President Donald Trump said Friday his aim is to serve the United States and not the rest of the world, doubling down on his "America First" message in wide-ranging remarks to a conservative conference.

Croat member of Bosnia's state presidency says crisis won't escalate

The Croat member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's collective State Presidency, Dragan Covic, said on Friday that the crisis caused by the unilateral submission of a request for a review of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) genocide ruling from 2007 against Serbia would not escalate into an armed conflict.

IAEA: Iran's enriched uranium stock far below allowed limit

Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium is currently less than half of what is allowed under the Islamic Republic's nuclear agreement with major powers, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported Friday.

Trump attacks media at conservative gathering

US President Donald Trump lambasted the media in remarks to a gathering of conservative activists outside Washington Friday, doubling down on charges that some parts of the press are the "enemy."

Birth anniversary of Croatia's 1st female journalist to be marked

The Centre for Women's Studies, which manages the Marija Juric Zagorka Memorial Apartment and carries out documentary-information, educational and cultural activities related to the study and promotion of the heritage of this novelist and Croatia's first female journalist, stated on Friday that it was marking the 144th anniversary of the birth of Marija Juric Zagorka next week.

Italian police arrest 55 doctors, nurses for being clock-in cheats

Police on Friday arrested 55 doctors, nurses, and other staffers at a Naples public hospital for being clock-in cheats.

Works on new section of Istrian Y motorway in autumn, says minister

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic said on Friday works on the second stage of the Istrian Y motorway were expected to begin in the autumn, an investment of EUR 150 million in which Croatian companies would be included.