(Adds details, quotes)
BEIRUT Dec 27 The Syrian opposition's main
political body on Tuesday urged rebel groups to cooperate with
"sincere regional efforts" to reach a ceasefire but said it had
not been invited to any conference, referring to a meeting in
Kazakhstan proposed by Russia.
Riad Hijab, general coordinator for the High Negotiations
Committee (HNC), said confidence-building measures were needed
to create an atmosphere for political transition talks which
should be held in Geneva and sponsored by the United Nations.
"We support the shifts in positions of some international
powers and the positive, sincere efforts that could represent a
starting point for realising the Syrian people's aspirations, by
reaching an agreement that brings security and stability," Hijab
said in a written statement distributed to the press.
The HNC said it wants to see a truce that covers all of
Syria, in line with previous U.N. resolutions which forbid the
use of banned weapons such as barrel bombs and chemical agents.
Other resolutions call for all sieges to be lifted, humanitarian
aid access, a halt in air strikes and no more forced
Iran and Russia support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in
the nearly six-year Syrian conflict. Turkey and the United
States support opposition groups. Peace talks in Geneva broke
down earlier this year because of a surge in violence.
Russia, Iran and Turkey said last week they were ready to
help broker a peace deal after holding talks in Moscow where
they adopted a declaration setting out principles for an
Arrangements for the talks, which would not include the
United States and would be distinct from separate intermittent
U.N.-brokered negotiations, remain hazy. But Moscow has said
they would take place in Kazakhstan, a close ally.
Hijab said the HNC had not been informed of any official
arrangements, but said: "Certainly, defining a clear agenda will
help define the positions of the active powers."
(Reporting by Lisa Barrington and Tom Perry; Editing by Louise
Ireland and Dan Grebler)