Staffan

UN envoy admits fighting terror in Syria is a priority

The United Nations (UN)’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura says the ongoing crisis in Syria can only be solved politically, acknowledging that fighting the terrorist groups in Syria is a priority.

“Fighting terrorist organizations listed by the Security Council resolutions is a priority,” De Mistura told a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

“It is also true that winning… against terrorism can only be achieved through a parallel… all-inclusive transformative political process within the framework of the Geneva Communiqué. [Trying to resolve the crisis with] only weapons [is] not going to be enough,” De Mistura told a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

The 2012 Geneva communiqué outlines a roadmap to resolve the crisis in Syria, and includes the formation of a transitional governing body and the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

Damascus has repeatedly said that only Syrians can decide about the country and its political future.

De Mistura further said the UN plan is for the talks on Syria to be supported by a contact group of interested countries, which he said would include the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and other regional players.

Referring to the simultaneous military campaigns by Russia and the US inside Syria, the senior UN official also urged Moscow and Washington to reach an understanding to prevent a military escalation that could effectively dismember Syria.

Syrian children walk past debris while heading to school on the second day of the new school year in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani (also known as Ain al-Arab in Arabic), October 6, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

 

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people so far and left over one million injured, according to the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Syria’s main foreign-backed opposition group, the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), has announced that it plans to boycott the peace negotiations proposed by the UN in protest against the Russian airstrikes in the Arab country.

Since September 2014, the US and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes against the purported positions of the Takfiri Daesh terrorists inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

Russia began its own military campaign against terrorists in Syria on September 30 upon a request from the Damascus government, shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the mandate to use military force in Syria.

By Press TV