Syria offers Aleppo truce as rebels argue over talks

January 18th, 2014  
News Manager

Topic: Syria offers Aleppo truce as rebels argue over talks

By Thomas Grove and Dasha Afanasieva MOSCOW/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The Syrian government, preparing for peace talks with rebels next week, handed the Russian co-sponsors of the conference a proposal on Friday for a ceasefire in Aleppo and an exchange of prisoners. The offer was dismissed by some of President Bashar al-Assad's disparate opponents, whose very attendance at the talks due to start on Wednesday in Switzerland remained in doubt, despite fresh assurances from Washington that negotiations would lead to Assad's departure from power. After nearly three years of war, and over 100,000 deaths, however, Assad's forces have been making gains, helped by in-fighting among the rebels as well as support from Iran and new arms and equipment from Russia. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, visiting Moscow, said he gave Russian officials a plan for a truce in Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, where government forces have been unable to dislodge rebels over the past year.


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