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Russian MP: Syrian president’s amnesty serious contribution to political settlement

October 30, 2013, 12:13 UTC+3
Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman praises for draft dodging and desertion.
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Mikhail Margelov. Photo ITAR-TASS/ Stanislav Krasilnikov

Mikhail Margelov. Photo ITAR-TASS/ Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, October 30 (Itar-Tass) - Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Mikhail Margelov considers an amnesty declared by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad serious contribution to the political settlement.

This is the third amnesty declared by the Syrian leader: the previous ones were declared in January 2012 and in April 2013 and were related to persons under sentence of death and participants in anti-government actions, Margelov said.

The President announed amnestry for draft dodging and desertion.

“This will be serious contribution to the political settlement in Syria,” the legislator said.

Total amnesty and security guarantees to the authorities’ opponents “were priorities in al-Assad’s program, which also points to ceasing the civil war and financial support to terrorists by the West and the Gulf’s kingdoms... Al-Assad also called for terminating military actions and convening a conference in order to form a new government”, he said.

“Today the implementation of the program is timely,” Margelov said.

“Firstly, Russia’s proposal to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria moved away ‘the red line’ beyond which the West was planning to deliver strikes on the country’s territory,” Margelov said.

“Secondly, the West’s plans were not supported inside its countries,” the legislator said, adding, “Thirdly, even with certain difficulties preparations for the Geneva II Conference are being promoted.”

It is terrorist Islamic groups that decline to take part in the conference, Margelov said.

On Tuesday, October 29, the Syrian president declared amnesty for those who deserted and dodge the draft.

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