Syria peace talks end with pledge to safeguard truce
Russia, Iran and Turkey, the sponsors of peace talks between Syrian rebels and the regime, agreed on Tuesday to establish a joint "mechanism" to monitor the fragile truce in the war-torn country.
The sides have agreed to "establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire, prevent any provocations and determine all modalities of the ceasefire," a final declaration read.
The joint statement said they would back rebels' participation in UN-hosted negotiations in Geneva on February 8.
The three sponsors said they would work to "minimise violations and reduce violence" and ensure unhindered humanitarian aid to civilians.
The statement said the three nations will continue their joint efforts in fighting the Islamic State group and the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, also calling for Syria's rebels to separate from the al-Qaida-linked group known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.
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On Tuesday, Syrian rebels attending the peace talks said they had "fundamental objections" to certain terms of the final declaration.
"We are against the terms minimise violations and reduce violence. We demand a declaration of a total end to hostilities, violations and violence," Ayman Abu Hisham, a member of the rebel delegation, told The New Arab.
"The delegation has insisted that the phrase 'armed opposition groups' be changed to 'the revolutionary military delegation'," he added.
The delegation had also objected to regime ally Iran serving as a guarantor to the current ceasefire along with Russia, another backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The rebels insisted during the talks on focusing on bolstering the fragile truce brokered by Turkey and Russia last month, while the regime called for a political solution to the nearly six-year conflict and for rebels to lay down their arms in exchange for an amnesty deal.
The latest diplomatic push to end the bloodshed in Syria comes one month after regime forces, aided by allies Russia and Iran, retook full control of Aleppo, dealing the rebels a heavy blow.
More than 310,000 people have been killed and more than half of the country's population displaced since Syria's conflict erupted in 2011 with protests against Assad's rule.