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HNC Member: Heading to Astana to Affirm Commitment to Ceasefire | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Mohammad Alloush of the Jaish al Islam faction and member of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) attends a news conference after a meeting with U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura during Syria Peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Ankara- ​Mohammad Alloush of the Jaish al-Islam faction and member of the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said that the purpose of opposition’s participation in Astana negotiations is to affirm commitment to the ceasefire, release arrestees in the regime prisons and to break the siege over certain areas.

Alloush stated to Anadolu Agency that tackling these topics and achieving a progress in them represents “a huge accomplishment that helps move forward in the political solution. We are heading to Astana to affirm commitment to the ceasefire especially in the tense areas.”

“If an agreement on ceasefire and the presence of observers to supervise it was reached, then the whole world will figure out who is breaching this agreement and targeting civilians. Shiite militias that support the regime are not abiding by the Russian and regime directives. Will Russia undertake exerting pressure on Iran as well? And if it did, is Iran capable of controlling its armed militias in the field? We will know the answers in Astana,” Alloush added.

In the midnight of 30 December, the ceasefire agreement became applicable in Syria after the approval of Syrian regime and opposition besides Turks and Russians providing guarantees, hence opening the door to the upcoming negotiations in Astana.

“Some see that this is no time for a truce but battles, others reject this point of view. We might fulfill some of our goals and settle peace and stability in Syria,” he added.

In a related matter, the Turkish Army issued a statement to assure that it has purged areas where ISSI was kicked from earlier through removing clusters, hence supporting risk-free movement of the Syrian Army.