DESPITE ASTANA HOSTILITIES, BOMBARDMENTS CONTINUE IN SYRIA – UN ENVOY
UN Envoy for Syria said they have received reports of ongoing hostilities and even bombardment between the Syrian government and armed opposition groups in few areas.
Staffan de Mistura, briefed the Security Council via video, on the latest diplomatic efforts concerning Syria, and said that he was glad to receive reports of a significant drop in violence, including in aerial bombardment, in most areas following the agreement reached in Astana, Kazakhstan.
However, despite the nationwide ceasefire announced last December, and the de-escalation zones now created to deepen the effort, de Mistura said they have “received reports of ongoing hostilities and even bombardment, between the government and armed opposition groups, in a few areas, such as Hama, Homs, and Damascus.”
Regarding the latest round of talks held in Geneva, the UN official told the 15-member body that there is still a great deal of work to do.
His team has now prepared the ground for a real negotiation, which he hopes will be possible before too long.
For the first time, de Mistura confirmed that he has received the consent of all parties to engage at an expert level, and pleased to announce that all parties were receptive the UN convening a seventh round of talks, which is intended to take place sometime in June.
Prior to the meeting, the French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre told the press that the assessment of the situation is clear, “combats and violence continue in the country, especially in the areas of Hama, Deera, the suburbs of Damascus; the humanitarian situation is still blocked by the Syrian regime.”
He said that the three guarantors of the Astana agreement need to do more, actually much more, to make sure that the cease fire is implemented and that the humanitarian aid goes through.
“We also need a strong, credible monitoring mechanism with a large participation of the international community, and sanctions in case of violations, to make sure that the de-escalation zones are properly implemented,” he stressed.
Fully supporting Staffan de Mistura’s efforts, the French diplomat said the last weeks have also confirmed the responsibilities of the Syrian regime in the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attacks and the Sednaya jails horrors.
“So what we need today in our views, is both much more pressure from Russia on the regime across the board and also more political engagement from the United States,” he added to the press.
Source: NAM News Networkhttps://syrianewsgazette.com/despite-astana-hostilities-bombardments-continue-in-syria-un-envoy/Business