UN pleads with Iran, Russia, Turkey to prevent collapse of Syria truce
The UN’s Syria envoy has written to Iran, Russia and Turkey, pleading with the trio to urgently help save the Syria-wide ceasefire, which has recently been undermined by militant attacks against government positions near Damascus and Hama.
Staffan de Mistura voiced alarm over a spike in truce violations around the Syrian capital and the central Hama Province in letters sent to Iran and Russia, both allies with the Syrian government, as well as Turkey, the supporter of the opposition, his office said in a statement.
The nationwide ceasefire was brokered last December between the Syrian government and militants by Russia and Turkey with the support of Iran.
On the back of the landmark truce, the three states have mediated three rounds of peace negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups in Astana, Kazakhstan, since the beginning of 2017.
The Astana discussions have mainly focused on consolidating the ceasefire, paving the way for the resumption of a parallel UN-led peace process between Syria’s warring sides in Geneva, Switzerland.
De Mistura further warned that renewed violence near Damascus and Hama have had “significant negative consequences for the safety of Syrian civilians, humanitarian access and the momentum of the political process” in Geneva.
The UN diplomat urged the three countries “to undertake urgent efforts to uphold the ceasefire” as the guarantors.