All armed opposition groups in Syria should abide by the ceasefire agreements reached on December 29, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said during the Astana talks. The envoy’s statement was released by his press service.

 

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“All other armed opposition groups not affiliated to terror organizations designated as such by the Security Council, in addition to groups allied with the Government, should also listen to the call to abide by the ceasefire,” de Mistura stressed.

 

“Consolidating a nationwide ceasefire is only the first step. No sustainable, long-term solution to the conflict in Syria can be attained through only military means, but through a political process,” de Mistura stressed. “Both sides need to accept that and renounce their objective of using military means.”

 

The United Nations calls on the countries-guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire to set up a mechanism on supporting and consolidating the ceasefire in Syria, he went on. 

 

“We are encouraging the guarantors of the ceasefire to create a mechanism to implement the consolidation and de-confliction ceasefire measures, and to see what else can be done to build confidence,” de Mistura said.

 

“I would hope that by strengthening the ceasefire in this Astana meeting we could see in Geneva genuine intra-Syrian negotiations – and I would hope direct negotiations between empowered and inclusive delegations of the Government and the opposition to take place,” de Mistura said.