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Moscow Seeks to Publish Syria’s Ceasefire and Prevent its Misinterpretation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Forces loyal to Bashar Assad walk after they recaptured areas in southwestern Aleppo, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on September 5, 2016. Thomson Reuters

Moscow-Russia’s Foreign Ministry asserted that Moscow wants to make the Russian-U.S. deal concerning a ceasefire in Syria transparent to brush off any misinterpretation.

A source at the Russian foreign ministry told RIA Novosti news agency that both Russia and the U.S. are working to inform their partners about the details of Syria’s ceasefire deal.

The deal stipulates a ceasefire in Syria after which Russia and the U.S. will begin seven days of preparatory work to share information and launch joint aerial attacks on selected positions.

The Russian source said several briefings might be held at the U.N. Security Council to inform member states about the clauses Moscow and Washington had agreed on during talks held in Geneva by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week.

“Certainly, we are very interested in publishing these documents to prevent any failures when explaining the content of the agreement,” the source said.

On Tuesday, Lavrov said he noticed that some parties were polishing the image of Al-Nusra Front with an aim to remove the organization from the list of terrorist groups.

“In order to brush away any doubts on how we will fulfill our commitments in the way in which they were stipulated in the agreement, we suggested revealing these agreements and not keeping them secret, as our American partners wanted,” said Lavrov.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin asserted on Wednesday the priority of separating between the moderate Syrian opposition and Al-Nusra Front to achieve the ceasefire deal.

Lavrov and Kerry had discussed the issue in a phone call Wednesday.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry doubted the U.S. could respect its promises to separate between moderate rebels and jihadist groups.

However, the ministry said Russia agrees to extend the ceasefire for an additional 48 hours.

In Moscow, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin is hopeful the truce deal “will create the necessary environment for political settlement.”

Dmitry Peskov said: “The ceasefire is quite fragile and the key task now is to wait until the moderate opposition stands aside from terrorist groups. It’s a key task without which further progress can hardly be possible.”

General Viktor Poznikhir, first deputy chief of the General Staff’s Main Operational Department, said Russia supports the extension of the cessation of hostilities on all Syrian territories for an additional 48 hours.

The general said Russia has doubts on the “capabilities of the American side to fulfill its part of the obligations and to separate the moderate rebels from al-Nusra Front.”

Poznikhir accused a group of armed groups of violating the ceasefire, saying these groups had made 37 violations since the truce was announced.