Riyad Hijab, Coordinator of the High Negotiation Committee, HNC, of Syria speaks to the media during a press conference, in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, April 19, 2016. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
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Russia said Tuesday that the resignation of "radically minded" Syrian opposition figures such as Riyad Hijab would help unite the disparate opponents of President Bashar Assad around a more "realistic" platform. Hijab, a former Syrian prime minister, stepped down Monday as head of the High Negotiations Committee, which was formed nearly two years ago with Saudi backing to bring together political and armed opponents of Assad.After intervening decisively in Syria's war in 2015 to support Assad, Russia now hopes to build on the collapse of Daesh (ISIS) to revive a political process to end the more than 6-year-old war.Hijab is one of up to 10 HNC members who have quit the opposition umbrella group, including Riyad Naasan Agha, who told Reuters its work had now been "brought to an end".
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