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Opposition says US has no plan B on Syria

February 29, 13:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The leader of Syria’s Popular Front for Change and Liberation urged parties that have ties with Jabhat al-Nusra to sever those relations
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Qadri Jamil

Qadri Jamil

© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, February 29. /TASS/. Moderate opposition thinks that the United States has no plan B on Syria, one of leaders of the Syrian Popular Front for Change and Liberation Qadri Jamil said on Monday.

"There is no plan B, all this is lie and small talk," Jamil said. "There is plan A and it is fulfilled, what is plan B?"

Riyadh has reportedly said if Damascus and its allies show no serious relation to implementing ceasefire then there is an alternative plan under which President Bashar Assad will leave by peaceful or military means.

Earlier, US State Secretary John Kerry said that Washington and its foreign allies and partners are actively discussing alternative options if ceasefire in Syria is not implemented and political process in the country is not launched. "There is a significant discussion taking place now about a Plan B in the event that we do not succeed at the (negotiating) table," Kerry said. "It may be too late to keep it as a whole Syria if we wait much longer."

Three days of ceasefire, more to come

Syria’s moderate opposition is prepared to further contribute to strengthening ceasefire in the country, Jamil added.

"We should strengthen ceasefire, we should encourage the advancement of ceasefire," he said. The ceasefire in Syria has been observed for three days now and the moderate opposition hopes it will be held in the future, Jamil said.

Jamil also said the ceasefire in Syria has been observed for three days now.

"The ceasefire embodies the agreements reached by the United States and Russia, which were endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution," he said. "Much to everyone’s surprise, the truce has been observed for the third day, everything is all right."

According to Jamil, the agreements reached will contribute to observing the truce in the future.

"The truce is not a game and cannot be a game," he added. The opposition member noted that his optimism was based on real trends. "I can see a motion vector, so I am optimistic," Jamil said.

Qadri Jamil also said he hopes the opposition groups that have not yet joined the ceasefire regime in Syria will do it soon.

"As of now, not all groups have lodged their applications. Those who have not done that still have time to do it. But Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (extremist groups outlawed in Russia - TASS) and their affiliates are cut out of equation," Qadri Jamil, the leader of Syria’s Popular Front for Change and Liberation, told TASS.

"All who have either indirect or direct ties with Jabhat al-Nusra must sever these relations and switch sides. Otherwise they will be dubbed as terrorists," he underscored.

Formation of single opposition delegation at Geneva talks is hardly possible

According to him, formation of a unified opposition delegation at the talks at Geneva due to begin on March 7 is hardly possible.

"The second round will begin with what the first round ended - that is, there will be two opposition delegations," he said.

"Essentially, we are not opposed to the formation of a single opposition delegation, but will the other side accept this? I don’t think so," he said. "The problems remain, but that’s not our fault."

Qadri Jamil noted that the absence of a unified delegation "would not stop the negotiations." "We will try to overcome this problem, but even if there is no single delegation, this will not prevent the talks from being held," he said.

The opposition leader stressed that terrorists wouldn't be represented at the talks.

"Terrorist groups will not take part in the Geneva negotiations," he said.

Jamil said that the opposition representatives’ separation from terrorists will occur naturally - through the mechanism of their adherence to the ceasefire regime.

The spokesman also pointed out that representatives of the "Moscow group" of the Syrian opposition plan to take part in the next round of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.

"Actually, we have already been invited verbally, [we will be invited] formally soon as well," he said.

"I received an invitation from [UN special envoy for Syria Staffan] de Mistura to come to Geneva on March 7," he said. "It is planned that this new conference will last until March 24."

According to Jamil, representatives of the Kurds should take part in the intra-Syrian talks as well. "Judging from the latest resolutions of the UN Security Council and a speech of UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, the issue should be resolved in the foreseeable future. They [Kurds] should take part in the second round, maybe not from the very first day, but they should [be involved in the talks]," he added.

"We will try to speed up the solution of the issue about the representation of the Democratic Union [Kurdish party - TASS] to ensure the Kurds’ presence," Qadri Jamil said.

The ceasefire in Syria hammered out by Moscow and Washington last week came into force at midnight local time on February 27. An hour before the ceasefire became effective the UN Security Council adopted a resolution to support the cessation of hostilities. The document drafted by Russia and the United States was backed by all 15 member-states of the UNSC.

UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said 97 armed groups agreed to ceasefire. The ceasefire is to be applied to all parties to the Syrian conflict but for Daesh (the Arabic acronym for Islamic State) and Jabhat an-Nusra (both are banned in Russia) "or other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council." Airstrikes on them will be continued.

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