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US Department of State to Asharq Al-Awsat: The Syrian Truce is a Step Towards Political Transition - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Syrian opposition fighters examine a shell that landed in the northern countryside of Daraa and Quneitra yesterday (Reuters)

Syrian opposition fighters examine a shell that landed in the northern countryside of Daraa and Quneitra yesterday (Reuters)

While the US Secretary of State John Kerry announced yesterday that Washington and Moscow have agreed on a plan for a ceasefire in Syria starting at midnight on Friday with the exception of bombing ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front, an official at the US State Department told Asharq Al-Awsat that in the case that all parties committed to the temporary truce for a period of two weeks, it would lead to an official and complete ceasefire. Commitment to the ceasefire would also lead to positive progress in building confidence between the parties and the resumption of negotiations and the political transition process in Syria.

Kerry called “all parties to accept the ceasefire” and added that if adhered to “it will not only lead to a reduction in violent acts but will also allow the delivery of urgent humanitarian supplies to besieged areas to continue. It will also support the political transition process and the establishment of a government that responds to the wishes of the Syrians.”

Secretary Kerry also stressed that the agreement depends on the diplomatic commitment of many countries and groups and said that all parties need to make a commitment to stop attacks including air strikes.

The General Coordinator of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) Riyad Hijab announced that the factions of the Syrian revolution have made a preliminary agreement to reach a temporary truce in accordance with UN safeguards to contain Russian, Iranian and sectarian militias and mercenary groups affiliated to them from fighting. Hijab also demanded that sieges on various areas are lifted, the arrival of aid to those besieged is ensured and that detainees are released.

Meanwhile, it was announced in Damascus yesterday that President Bashar Al-Assad has called for a parliamentary election on the 13th of April. The last parliamentary elections in the country were in 2012.