Bid for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

BEIRUT: Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad said he be­lieved Rus­sian-backed peace talks in Kaza­khstan aimed to pro­duce lo­cal “rec­on­cil­i­a­tion” deals with rebel groups whereby they would give up their weapons for a govern­ment pardon.

Rus­sia set the new di­plo­matic process in mo­tion after its air force helped the Syr­ian govern­ment and al­lied Iran-backed mili­tia to de­feat rebels in the eastern areas of the city of Aleppo last month, the op­po­si­tion’s big­gest de­feat of the war.

As­sad hoped the con­fer­ence would be a plat­form to dis­cuss “ev­ery­thing” with rebels.

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