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Strict Enforcement of Syria Truce Crucial to Peace

Saudi Arabia and its allies are making attempts to prevent any Syrian truce deal going through because such a deal could undermine their backing for terrorist groups
The UN Security Council on Dec. 30 unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing a peace process to end the nearly six-year war in Syria. The UN Security Council on Dec. 30 unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing a peace process to end the nearly six-year war in Syria.

A lawmaker underscored the need for thorough monitoring to ensure the ceasefire will hold in Syria so the peace talks between the warring sides would come to fruition.

"By closely monitoring the truce, peace negotiations can achieve their goal," Qasem Jasemi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said in a talk with ICANA on Wednesday.

His comments came hours after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Iran to exert pressure on Shia-backed militias and the Syrian government to stop violating a ceasefire in Syria, warning it was putting the planned peace talks in peril.

"Turkey is working with Russia on the question of sanctions for those who violate the ceasefire deal, which was brokered by Ankara and Moscow," Cavusoglu said in a televised interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Cavusoglu warned that peace negotiations being prepared by Moscow in the Kazakh capital Astana could fail if rising ceasefire violations are not halted, Reuters reported.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have emerged as important players in Syria, with Iran and Russia strongly backing President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey, a NATO member, initially assisted groups trying to seek his ouster.

The three began cooperating last month to help broker a peace deal. They held talks in Moscow where they adopted a declaration setting out principles for an agreement. The trilateral initiative does not include the United States and would be distinct from separate, intermittent UN-brokered negotiations.

The surprise move shows how fed up Russia is with what it sees as long and pointless talks with the US administration over Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed those talks as "fruitless sitting around" and said Ankara might prove a more effective partner on Syria. UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva broke down a few months ago because of a surge in violence.

Jasemi accused Saudi Arabia and its allies of attempts to prevent any truce deal going through because such a deal could undermine their backing for terrorist groups such as the self-styled Islamic State and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups.

Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan has said Riyadh should not be allowed to take part in the Syrian peace process.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani agreed in a telephone conversation last week on the importance of the ceasefire agreement and plans for future peace talks in Astana.

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