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Assad offers amnesty to militants of opposition groups — media

March 01, 14:22 UTC+3
The Syrian president made the statement in an interview with the German broadcasting corporation ARD
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© EPA/BRUNO GALLARDO

BERLIN, March 1. /TASS/. Syrian President Bashar Assad has offered amnesty and an opportunity to return to peaceful life to militants of the opposition groups. He made this statement in an interview with the German broadcasting corporation ARD.

"Lay down arms if you want to participate in the political process," Assad said.

"The most important thing from the viewpoint of the law and constitution, from the viewpoint of the Syrian population and the principles in effect in each state is that they, being citizens, have no right to carry assault rifles and point weapons at other people. That’s all we demand," the Syrian president said. "As has been said, they will be granted unlimited amnesty," he said.

Assad called the ceasefire established on February 27 "a glimmer of hope."

"The terrorists from the first hour of the ceasefire violated it, but the Syrian army refused from revenge in order to keep the chances for the preservation of the agreements. We for our part can do this, but everything has its limit," the Syrian leader said.

Syria ceasefire

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 supported 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.

In the follow-up of the joint statement by the Russian and US leaders issued on February 22, a special Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides was set up at Russia’s Hmeimim airbase in Syria’s Latakia. Currently, 61 Russian officers are working at the Center.

The Center aims to assist armed groupings in Syria in concluding ceasefire agreements, maintain the truce regime, control its observance and organize the delivery of humanitarian cargoes to civilians.

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