Staffan

UN Syria envoy hopes ceasefire to contribute to Syria talks

Sputnik News– UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that the implementation of the Syria’s ceasefire agreement will save civilian lives, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance across Syria, and pave the way for productive talks in Astana.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura welcomed on Thursday the new nationwide ceasefire between the Syrian government and the opposition, expressing hope it would help save civilians, facilitate humanitarian deliveries and contribute to upcoming Astana and Geneva talks.

“The Special Envoy notes that a comprehensive cessation of hostilities remains a cornerstone of the framework laid down in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). The Special Envoy hopes that the implementation of the agreement will save civilian lives, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance across Syria, and pave the way for productive talks in Astana,” de Mistura said in a statement. Earlier in the day, Vitaly Naumkin, an adviser to de Mistura, said that the meeting of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Astana could be held before January 20. “The Special Envoy is of the view that these developments should contribute to inclusive and productive intra-Syrian negotiations to be convened under UN auspices on 8 February 2017,” the statement said.

A ceasefire will take effect from midnight on Thursday (22:00 GMT).

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced earlier on Thursday that the Syrian government and armed opposition groups reached an agreement on a ceasefire on Syrian territory and on readiness to start peace talks. Three ceasefire documents have been signed between the Syrian government and the armed opposition forces. The documents also introduce a monitoring mechanism and set forth that the parties are ready to start peace negotiations.