The UN is willing to start the peace talks on Syria by 14 March, said spokeswoman of the UN envoy to Syria Staffan Di Mistura, Jessy Shahin.
The talks will start officially on 9 March, but some delegations will not be able to attend before 14 March; those who participated in the first round will be participating in the second one, Shahin said.
The Syrian army restored some locations that were under the control of Al-Nusra Front.
The US-Russia backed ceasefire does not include “Islamic State” (IS) or Al-Nusra Front militants. Both Moscow and the Syrian government said they will not cease strikes against the “terror groups”. The UN urged all sides to commit to the ceasefire.
Russia is satisfied with its cooperation with the US on Syria, said the Russian president’s special envoy to the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov.
“On the whole, we are satisfied with our cooperation. Naturally, its channels are being improved; it is a new thing for us. We offered that long ago, but our US partners used to have their doubts. Information exchange centres are currently operating in Geneva and in some other countries in the region,” Bogdanov said.
“Our military are actively communicating, exchanging information, and working with maps. There are certain technical means of tracking breaches and the situation in separate regions of Syria, including drones and airborne tracking and surveillance,” the deputy foreign minister said.
Bogdanov denied all reports about Russian violations of the ceasefire.
“An information war is under way and certain forces are not interested in reaching a political settlement in Syria. They want a war and they will continue spreading their speculations and launching unfounded accusations. They will also use these speculations as a pre-condition for their participation in the political process,” he said.
Member of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Mohammed Bassam Al-Malek considered the deal to be “fragile” due to the complex situation on the ground.
While identification of IS-controlled sites is not very difficult, Al-Nusra Front territories overlap with other locations controlled by the moderate opposition. “How can the Russian air jets differentiate between our locations and those of Al-Nusra?” Al-Malek asked, stressing that the opposition would respond if hit.
Al-Malek believes Russia wishes to solve the crisis as soon as possible and is pressuring the regime to accept the political solution. “Russia wants to safeguard its interests in Syria but does not want to fall into the quagmire of war,” he said.