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Syria's domestic opposition hails Russian proposal
Wednesday September 11, 2013 7:55 PM, IANS

A main Syrian opposition group at home has hailed the Russian initiative put forward to avert a possible military action by the US against Syria.

Safwan Akkashe, a member of the oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB), told Xinhua in an interview that the Russian initiative aimed at stripping Washington of its pretexts to unleash a military strike against Syria.

On Monday, Russia proposed a fresh initiative on the Syrian crisis, calling for putting the chemical stockpiles of the Damascus government under international control, a move that was designed to spare Syria a possible US military strike over alleged use of poisonous gas by the Syrian government in populated areas Aug 21.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem welcomed the Russian proposal.

"From our perspective, we must do the impossible to avoid a possible military aggression on Syria," Akkashe said, adding that averting the war is very important.

"Historic experience taught us that once aggression starts, the country would enter into a war that could lead to its destruction," he noted.

He said that "we don't want any foreign aggression against our country", adding that he thought the situation now was going towards pacification.

He said his group had initially proposed the initiative during a recent meeting with Russian officials.

According to Akkashe, after the implementation of such an initiative, all parties concerned must take part in the Geneva conference that was initially designed to bridge the gap between the Syrian government and the opposition.

"All parties must go seriously to the planned conference in Geneva to agree on the halt of violence and on a transitional government in order for us to reach democracy," he said.

On May 7, both Moscow and Washington said they had decided to hold an international conference in Geneva designed to facilitate a solution to the Syrian crisis through a political dialogue.

The planned, yet delayed, conference is a follow-up to last year's international meeting in Geneva that drafted a peace road-map for Syria that could never be implemented.

While the Damascus-based opposition accepted the Russian plan, the Western-backed exiled opposition dismissed it as it was hoping for a foreign military assault on Syria to hasten the downfall of the Syrian administration.

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