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Senior Russian MP hails Syria Ramadan truce initiative, doubts it is feasible

June 02, 2016, 11:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. A senior Russian parliamentarian hailed on Thursday the recent initiative of the opposition High Negotiations Committee to announce a nationwide truce in Syria for the full month of Ramadan, but said he doubted it was feasible.

"The initiative is of course needful, as it was put forward against the background of intensive talks under way between the main players on the Syrian ‘field’, including Russia and the US," the chairman of the upper house’s international affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev posted on his Facebook page.

However, he expressed "certain doubts" as to whether it was doable. Kosachev said back in 2013, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed for Ramadan truce across Syria. "For the sake of the Syrian people, therefore, I would like to call on all parties in Syria to respect this religious obligation for at least, at a minimum, one month," Ban Ki-moon said.

"Sadly, this did not work then," the senior parliamentarian said.

Kosachev expressed hope that "today, all participants in the conflict have become wiser and more peaceful," noting, however, that "there is no firm belief in that". "Verbally, almost all support the ceasefire, but in practice everyone suspects everyone," he said on Facebook.

At the same time, Kosachev stated that the situation with the Syrian settlement progressed much further from 2013 and even from the end of 2015. "There is a feeling that increasingly more parties are really interested in success," he said.

"Possibly, the initiative of truce for the full month of Ramadan won’t be translated into practice, but the very fact that it appeared is important, as those against it have few arguments, as long as each wants to present himself as peacekeeper and a full participant in the peace process," the parliamentarian said.

Earlier media published a letter of Syrian High Negotiations Committee coordinator Riyad Hijab to the UN secretary general and to the UN Security Council, proposing to impose the regime of cessation of hostilities across Syria for the full month of Ramadan.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

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