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Damascus ready to discuss release of prisoners and abductees with opposition — deputy FM

April 12, 15:37 UTC+3 DAMASCUS
Faisal Mekdad said that the lists of prisoners compiled by the opposition for international organizations "in most cases repeat the names of those who had long been released."
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Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad

© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

DAMASCUS, April 12. /TASS/. The Syrian government is ready to discuss with the opposition the release of prisoners, however, it is also necessary to talk on the release of more than 15,000 people abducted by the opposition groups, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said in an exclusive interview with TASS.

"Naturally, we are ready. It’s a large-scale and deep problem. We would like to solve it before April 13," he said. "But here is the main issue: the problem is that the international community demands that the Syrian leadership release all prisoners. However, nobody demands the release of more than 15,000 people who were abducted by various opposition groups, and no one knows anything about them."

According to Mekdad, justice requires the discussion of the fate of these 15,000 abductees. "They are people too", he added.

"We have requested to provide us the lists of people who, according to the opposition groups, are in the hands of the authorities," the Syrian deputy foreign minister said. "We for our part will provide the list of the abducted people, who, in our opinion, are held by the opposition groups."

Mekdad also said that the lists of prisoners compiled by the opposition for international organizations "in most cases repeat the names of those who had long been released." "Therefore, this issue should be discussed upon the fact (of release) directly between the official authorities and (opposition) groups, and not by declarations," he said. "The government is more interested and hurries to settle this issue so that all the abducted people could return to their families.".

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