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Russian Foreign Ministry says Joint Operational Group on Syria aims to ensure ceasefire

February 17, 19:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Joint Operational Group, comprised of Russia, Iran and Turkey, will hold regular meetings and brief the International Syria Support Group on the progress

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MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The Joint Operational Group, comprised of Russia, Iran and Turkey, will hold regular meetings and brief the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) on the progress and results of its work, the Concept Paper on the Joint Group, published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website, says.

The group was established "as part of a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire in the Syrian Arab Republic, prevent provocations, determine all modalities of the ceasefire, including separating terrorist groups ISIL/DAESH (Islamic State terror group) and al-Nusra Front (both groups outlawed in Russia) from the armed opposition groups" in order to consolidate the ceasefire. The group also aims to strengthen confidence-building measures and discuss other related issues that can contribute to the UN-led intra-Syrian negotiations on a political solution, based on the UN Security Council resolution 2254.

According to the document, "the group is composed of the representatives of the Parties and the UN experts in order to effectively search for solutions to the issues under consideration."

Meetings schedule and agenda

The Concept Paper also said that the group would hold "regular meetings upon request of one of the Parties and with their unanimous approval of the date and venue."

During the meetings, the group members will discuss the progress of the implementation of the ceasefire declared in Syria on 30 December 2016, the investigation of ceasefire violations aimed at determining those responsible and taking measures to prevent further violations and reduce tensions.

Besides, efforts to organize the release of detainees, the exchange of prisoners and bodies on a mutually accepted basis and to identify missing persons will be discussed as well.

Efforts to facilitate unhindered humanitarian access and the free movement of civilians will also be assessed.

Providing information

Information on ceasefire violations will be "provided by the Parties with the assistance of their national ceasefire centers as well as the UN operation center in Geneva." "The Parties and the UN will regularly exchange information on ceasefire violations in between the meetings," the document says.

According to the Concept Paper, representatives of the Syrian parties that signed the ceasefire arrangement and other countries and organizations that have influence on them could be invited to attend the meetings of the group in order to help find effective solution to the issues under discussion."

The Parties will brief the ISSG via their delegations on the progress and results of their work, the document adds.

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