UN envoy calls for ceasefire in Syria

UN special envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen has called for a nationwide ceasefire in the war-torn country, on the basis of relative calm situation on the ground.

“While Syria is calmer than before, worrying incidents continue that could destabilize that calm,” Xinhua news agency reported citing Pedersen as saying at the Security Council on Friday.

“I appeal to all relevant actors to contain these violent and destabilizing incidents, build on the relative calm that exists and, as Resolution 2254 calls for, establish a nationwide ceasefire to protect civilians, maintain international peace and security, and support a political process,” he said.

Security Council Resolution 2254 was unanimously adopted on December 18, 2015, calling for a ceasefire and political settlement in Syria.

Pedersen also called on Russia and the US to advance their dialogue toward a political settlement in Syria.

“I encourage Russia and the United States to advance their dialogue and for them and other key players, including the Astana Guarantors (Russia, Turkey and Iran) and those who meet in the Small Group (the Foreign Ministers of the Small Group on Syria), and the members of this Council, to work with me toward our common goal in Syria: a political settlement in line with Resolution 2254,” he added.

Russia, however, urged the West to move to halt Israeli strikes on Syria.

“We also see Israeli strikes in Syria. In this regard, we are calling on our Western colleagues to exert their influence on those who really continue to wage war in Syria,” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said.

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