Syrian opposition sees window for political solution in Syria
RIYADH (Reuters) - Syria now has a good opportunity to reach a political solution to its devastating eight-year war as ceasefires have brought calm to many areas of the country, Syria's chief opposition negotiator said on Saturday. 'I think now that we have an opportunity, because nearly in Syria we have a ceasefire now, in the northeast of Syria and the north of Syria, and the efforts of fighting terrorism has achieved good results,' Nasr Hariri told Reuters in an interview in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, where he is based
RIYADH (Reuters) - Syria now has a good opportunity to reach a political solution to its devastating eight-year war as ceasefires have brought calm to many areas of the country, Syria's chief opposition negotiator said on Saturday.
"I think now that we have an opportunity, because nearly in Syria we have a ceasefire now, in the northeast of Syria and the north of Syria, and the efforts of fighting terrorism has achieved good results," Nasr Hariri told Reuters in an interview in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, where he is based.
Hariri, the opposition's chief negotiator in U.N. peace talks, met with the newly appointed United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen on Friday.
"Now it is time to invest all of these developments: the ceasefire, fighting terrorism, the belief of the majority of the Syrian people that the only solution to the Syrian crisis is the political solution," Hariri added.
In December, Russia, Iran and Turkey - supporters of the main sides in Syria's complex civil war - failed to agree on the makeup of a U.N.-sponsored Syrian Constitutional Committee but called for it to convene early next year to kick off a viable peace process.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have reclaimed most of Syria with Russian and Iranian support apart from the northern province of Idlib, has clung to power throughout the conflict and is widely seen as being loath to yield power after it ends.
Arab states, including some that once backed rebels against Assad, are seeking to reconcile with him after decisive gains by his forces in the war, aiming to expand their influence in Syria at the expense of non-Arab Turkey and Iran.
"All the countries... Turkey, to some extent Russia and the Arab countries believe ... that without a political solution, the normalization with the (Assad) regime would be impossible," Hariri said.
(Reporting by Nael Shoyoukhy; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Ros Russell)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.